Now I have neither back nor front.
I am the way certain persons are
who never tell you how they are
yet you know they are like you and they are.
I was preternaturally wise
but it was spring, there was no one to care or do.
It was spring and the sprinklers were on.
Bay, indentation, viscous rocks
that are somebody’s pleasure. Pleasures that don’t go away
but don’t exactly stay,
stay the way they were meant to be.
I caught a winged one,
looked it firmly in the eyes:
What is your surmise? Oh, I only like living on,
the rest isn’t so important to me,
not at all, if you wish.
But I do, I said. Then, well, it’s like a clearing
in the darkness that you can’t see. Darkness is meant for all of us.
We grow used to it. Then daylight comes again.
That’s what I mean when I say about living
it could be going on, going somewhere else,
but it’s not, it’s here, more or less.
You have to champion it, then it fights for you,
but that isn’t necessary. It will go on living anyway.
I say do you mind I’m getting tired.
But there is one last thing I must know about you.
Do you remember a midnight forge
around which crept the ghosts of lepers, who were blacksmiths
in a time persistently unidentifiable, and then you went like this?
You remember how the hammer fell slowly
taking all that song with you.
You remember the music of the draught horses
they could only make against a wall.
All right, how little does it all cost you then?
You were a school child, now you are past middle age,
and the great drawing hasn’t occurred.
I see I must be going.
I just like living,
only like living.
Sometime you must tell me of your intentions,
but now I have to stay here on this fast track
in case the provisions come along
which I won’t need, being a living, breathing creature.
But I asked you about your hat.
Oh yes well it is important to have a hat.

This Issue

September 26, 2002