Issue 100, Summer-Fall 1986
. . . wanting to build up my
imaginary figure with every
scrap I could find, when
suddenly the figure turns to
merely one of the usual dead . . .
In search of treasure near the Pyramids
they all became unconscionably coy
having unearthed a vessel tightly sealed
secluded special and being set upon
opening it they found that it contained
one object which they all agreed to be
honey by taste till hairs clinging to
just what was wanted—though it seemed to me
the private parts of an intrepid man
merely silly and tinkling as if once
drawn forth what met their eyes was a boy
—I had ventured into the men’s urinal!
his limbs entire the flesh smooth what else
but lust and tenderness afford relief?
I thank you for the bishop’s work on God
which I am reading though he prove no more
than what I have always thought: so I am
not impotent but I have had enough
where I was—verging toward Spinoza not
of a mind to write books but to become
alien to his gloomy creed—I would be
nice to other people (only now? this once?)
better than that: there is a power in me
obsessed beyond all reading to withstand:
I cannot shake it off. I deny nothing
of all the accumulation of the past
but doubt everything. Incessant guests
are quite as bad as solitary jail.
Each man is under his thumb—just conceive
living your life in fear of drying up
and on command plunging from the walls
though I haven’t envisaged that fate for myself
enticed with hope of inevitable paradise—
on the contrary shall I ever have time enough
and promise of pleasure—eternal ecstasy
to write out everything that’s in my head
ordering this one or that to leap to his doom
—though suppose what’s in my head becomes absurd
for the entertainment of others, after which
—but would I even know it afterwards?
still others were pledged that night for their desires
besides I cannot believe I shall ever die . . .