Yes, I was born on the street known as Glass--as Paper,
Scissors or Rock.
Several of my ancestors had no hands.
Several of my ancestors used their pens
in odd ways.
A child of seven I prayed for breath.
Each day I passed through the mirrored X
into droplets of rain congealed around dust.
I never regretted this situation.
Though patient as an alchemist I failed to learn English.
Twenty years later I burned all my furniture.
Likewise the beams of my house
to fuel the furnace.
Once I bought an old boat.
I abandoned the tyrannical book of my dreams
and wrote about dresses, jewels, furniture and menus
eight or ten times in a book of dreams.
It sets me to dreaming when I dust it off.
Our time is a between time; best to stay out of it.
Send an occasional visiting card to eternity or a few stanzas
to the living
so they won't suspect we know they don't exist.
Sign them Sincerely Yours, Warmest Regards, Thinking of You
or Deepest Regrets.
Brown river outside my window, an old boat riding the
What I like most is to stay in my apartment.
So that is my whole life, pared of anecdotes.
I go out occasionally to look at a dance.
Otherwise the usual joys, worries and inner mourning.
Occasionally in an old boat I navigate the river
when I find the time.
Water swallows the days.
I think maybe that's all
I have to say
except that an irregular heart sometimes speaks to me.
It says, A candle is consuming a children's alphabet.
It says, Attend to each detail of the future-past.
Last night the moon was divided precisely in half.
Today a terrifying wind.
Not exactly a mark, not exactly a trace.
More like a segment of recording tape.
After I arrived I took a job painting broccoli, cabbage and
on supermarket windows
as I was putting on my face:
base, blusher, mascara, ultra high-gloss lip enamel
when the word "zurückgehen" flooded my brain
as if spoken by the mirror
over the dressing table in which an image
no longer gathered much light, its
reflecting glaze having decayed.
We were so close that the way
we came apart was not even visible to the participants.
Then I became a painter of paintings briefly
then I eliminated paint.
Dear Phil, What a hellish season it's been.
For a time I thought I was another
but now I'm selling shovels and rakes, running a few guns
and awaiting the arrival
of a photographic apparatus.
Perhaps if a gate deforms in parallax
a phrase will pass through it.
Perhaps if a face can be recorded
but isn't that another story?
Isn't there another story
consistent with sand?
How it turns to mirror-glass
when heated in your hand.
The sounds it makes
make another story.
It's completely silent here
so we hear nothing but high and low tones
as we take inventory.
The people come in shades of blue.
They take everything from you.