At Oscar’s
This man walks out of his shoes on the heel;
his ankles are tattooed gray, a thousand pores
confounded with dirt. He reads the simple
list of hamburgers again and again, or once
or not at all; he has a strange confidence
of delirium, the disarmed sanpaku stare,
a shuffling in place, a sinking.

Like many people he pours sugar forever into
coffee; his lips start faintly with anonymous
utterances and untoward violent remarks . . .
     Like many a stunned child adrift he lives
without history, confusing memory and sound,
and has no questions, suggestions,
intimacies or results.

He is lost in the inner ear:
intricate, confining, peopled with echoes.
Lester, On The Astral Plane
his concentration & singularity
leading to sudden easy abandonment,
he drifts nonchalantly
        above the drawing board
        and the skeleton, muscles,
        skin & brain bent over his work.

how peaceful he feels:
the body and mind learn and progress below,
the essence floats over and approves.
for this reassuring moment
he perceives his larger and smaller work,

how the body is in tow to the soul
by the silver translucent cord
        through which the two beings,
            both himself
        exchange a purposeful questioning

like an oboe & English horn
singing together, nearly echoing,
        the sounds wrapping each other
            in their odd purity.
Even among this maze of lighted houses
Arises the disorderly smell of raccoon:
               the bandit,
               the fierce organizer,
They come down from the dry hills
By who knows what paths —
               surely not along the road —
Come to overturn garbage
               and seethe at the dull and domestic:
                    dogs, cats,
                        people’s toys.
They freeze in the sudden light
and growl with a body improbably deep.

Late in the night
They and their energetic children
               root and roust beneath your house
As if building a place of their own
Down there. Their tricky hands
               turn out halfhuman noises
               which time and time again
Poke cleanly through your dreams.