LA | NY A Special Edition of The East Village

Catherine Daly



The holly hedge grows green;
also green, all types of pine.

Green, green, and green
blue spruce, redwoods, and orange trees.

A green wave of go lights down the street,
green signs and signals at the freeway entrance,
and the dull green bay.

What is a berry but green's complement,
life's ornament.
Fruit carries and feeds the seed.


Roll and tape several sheets of newspaper.

Cut an end
down the tube

into narrow strips.
Pull the center

spiraling strips up to fall into limbs, making a small tree.
Assemble several trees on a wire frame for a bigger tree.

This is black and white and read all over.
If it is a tree, it is green.

What's black and white and red all over?
Is this tree pretty as a poem?

Under the tree of words, consider the presents.
This poem is in the present.

Puns and riddles are toys,
better read than dead.

This is a dead or dying tree, boxed in a corner,
cut and placed, bedecked.
Beneath, gifts tied with bows.


Freeways are hallways connecting home to work.
Home is a hall.  Work is hell.

The bird flies through the hall in Beowulf.
Hell surrounds us because it is hell.

My hellish commute ends in a T, no exit, at the plant.
A flume of gas burns under the red ceiling of sunrise.

Heading home, brake lights stretch into sunset.
Oncoming headlights blind.

Fires edge the road from methane explosions or lightning strikes.
Smoke drifts over steaming cars.

Planes stack above the airport, a constellation in hell,
a hovering map.   I myself am hell.

You can get out of a hall.  A hall is placed in time.
This holiday is time's interregnum.


The traffic's glittering means movement.
White headlights and red brake lights:  strings of lights
garland Hollywood.

Holly signifies the crown of thorns;
crowns, fame; berries, blood;
evergreen, everlasting life.

Hymns and carols are in red-bound missals.
The poisonous portal décor is mistletoe.

We're in the spirit.
We've donned gay apparel.

Set decorators' houses are wrapped as gifts
under the trees of tinseltown.

Homes are boxes we are in, skulls writ large,
their decks viewing memories and our cars.

SUVs proceed like frigates in the boat parade.
Red rose floats float.

The stars and queens wave, hands cupped,
wiggle, wiggle, wrist, wrist, wrist.


The holly arrow flies from the yew bow.

It is our wrapt attention that details
or tricks, that marries awe to rapture.


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