babe sits on

2 apples
1 cucumber

& a fly
beside him
on the ledge

a goldfinch
in his hands



the mother

in one hand she holds
an apple

with the other
her infant's sex

the babe draws out
his mother's breast

(one hand encircles
while the other

an old man, watching
seems about to cry


mother & child

sit on the rooftop of
a church
two angels hold

above a bay
a ship
is sailing on

the angels stand on clouds
the babe stands on the church
the church stands on an angel's head

two other angels
fly above them
with a crown


the infant

wears a coral charm

a pinwheel
in one hand

a hobby horse between
his thigh & leg
two stunted toes

"I am" he says
"the babe inhabiting
"this fertile island

"who pisses gold & silver


first born who dreams of death

[after carpaccio]

a broken throne
the dead man
sleeps on     slouched
(holes in his hands

& to one side an elder
with a crutch
& fallen sandals

an abandoned rosary that hangs
from shattered column

& old Job squatting on
a tomb
with Hebrew letters

skull beneath it

a crown of thorns

a red bird

a leopard stalking deer


gardens with babes
& skulls



Granary Books, 1996.
11 3/4" x 6 1/2"; 30 pages; edition of 130.
Bound in cloth over boards by Jill Jevne.
Eight poems by Jerome Rothenberg
(seven published here for the first time)
with five drawings by David Rathman.
Designed & printed letterpress by Philip Gallo.