The glowing black wall
radiates grains of darkness.
Drifting in clouds, sticking
in the eyes, they thin enough
to allow a glimpse,
a remembrance of good food
to cause a hunger
in the groin, a thirst
for honey in the cup.

Must I remain in this mixture
of tangibles and intangibles,
fixes and questions about directions
until I am comfortable?
Feeling so close to an answer,
I cannot rest,
the looming is so loud
I cannot concentrate,
and I strain to see things
among the shadows.

Swimming in the darkness,
floating in a doubtful pool,
I reach for things
of substance: a wet belly
and breasts
to rest upon.
He said he lived six months
close off the Atlantic coast
in a boat. But anything I’d say
about that boat is pure fake
except the sail.
He said it had a sail.

Nor is there need
to fake a whole coastline,
just portions of the poem,
now and then a pretense
of setting the scene;
some hard corners,
a cabin full of things
to get lost in.

In a dream he stepped
up and out the front door, stooping,
a tall man onto the deck of grass
wet with dew, at night,
and lamplight back
in the cabin.
As if he were a carpenter, he spoke of cutting,
and qualities of wood; or a truck driver, he told
of ten miles just below Albany, all brick.

He was clogged with a mass of contiguous detail,
an artist with tables of papers and scattered tools,
stacks of faded drawings.

He was trying to touch the stream again.
But the show of progress is false
in the face of such simple movement:

The man pacing, the tables pointing
toward the window.