The Apples of New York

Northern Spy and Black Twig
are grown in separate orchards
planted on the edge of a forest.

Here you see a bold outline of
the orchard keeper, made from
tongue, loam, and toothy wool.

He never once wore shoes, not
even in the most awful weather.
He never ate the apples he grew.

He was a creature of the forest,
I’m sure you know the type as
well as any do. Yes, sure of it.

Until another happens along—
they always do you know, have
this crisp Black Twig for now.
Deeply devoted to him was his
also shoeless wife, a woman of
the dark trees. More of her in II,

Acts of the Northern Spy, where
blight and misinformation marry
to bring her husband to his end.

Louche but undemanding was
the other woman, whose story
will also have its place therein.

Farewell for now. You’re being
left only with what little you’ll
remember with impartial mercy.




[Ray DiPalma's books include The Ancient Use of Stone (Seismicity Editions, 2009), Pensieri (Echo Park Press, 2009), Further Apocrypha (Pie in the Sky Press, 2009), L'Usage ancien de la pierre (Éditions Grèges, 2007), Quatre Poèmes (Éditions Comp'Act, 2006) (both books translated into French by Vincent Dussol), and Caper, Volume I. (ML & NLF, 2006). A French translation of Pensieri was published in 2012 by Éditions de l'Attente in Bordeaux. Among his earlier collections are Numbers and Tempers, Le Tombeau de Reverdy, Provocations, Hôtel des Ruines, Gnossiennes, and Letters. He lives in New York City and teaches at the School of Visual Arts.]

Copyright © 2012 by Ray DiPalma, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.