With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
Subscribe and Save up to 45%
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.
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,
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 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:
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.
D. Patrick Miller