in the back
of his cave,)
dreams gather their dust
on the cold earth sleeping.
meanwhile we warm our hands,
practice signing. the school-marm
"--hold firm, step lightly and love
what guides you, language
with its wisdom dear."
(insert your own name, here: _________ )
"hell-o, mr./mrs. ___________ !
we are all SO glad you could join us here today!"
(misery loves company, so they say--)
"first let's go around
the circle and have everyone
with a circular argument
everyone to everything
they despise about going around
in circles cycling along
the edge of a twin void
twining its silence
about every word.
"afterwards, we will discuss
the subtle issue of what payment
we feel we deserve for the length
of those labours--
however, as the initial set of introductions
should last approximately...
our final payment must remain
((calm, gentle Ambon,
child of my own
of a flawed
Ambon, the perfected fool,
describes his father's antics
with a sound between
sobbing and laughter.))
I'll build a bridge
from what I am
to whatever you might
need me to become--
this will be the reader's
poem, a puppet with which
to enact a drama
in the darkness:
Pinochio, cut-up for kindling.
The bridge I'm building
begins with myself,
fistfulls of sand
into the ocean,
so as to provide
on which will rise
the massive turrets,
the Brooklyn Bridge.
(St. Peter, coughing nervously)
Whereupon after 30 million years
I will brave the bends for the sake
of these towers, from which I'll loom
an iron thread.
The window of time by which you'll
actually be able to cross my bridge,
will fall within a very narrow margin
given the relative scale of its construction
through millions of years;
by the time I finish laying the steel suspension
by which the road will be held, large portions
will have already rusted.
However, I am confident that you will find
my completed bridge, in its single given day,
highly amenable to your journey
in the line
of the sun.
CRITIC #1: "reminiscent of Kafka--"
CRITIC #2: "funny you should mention it;
I've heard a rumour that Ambon is actually
dying of tuberculosis... history repeats
CRITIC #1: "tuberculosis? that's soooo
CRITIC #2: "I dunno, I hear it's making a real
comeback in South Africa--"
CRITIC #1: "but you don't find anyone dying
of tuberculosis in Montmarte anymore--"
CRITIC #2: "I hear Ambon spends a lot of time
in Montmarte, and he's dying--"
CRITIC #1: "that's only a rumour."
the cat-gutted fiddle,
a cow strung-up by a goon.
on a brittle-bog raft
we did flee from the port,
for-to wish one away
with a tune.