To whom these scattered particles of speech?
Though I, perhaps, is one way
It has been done since the early days,
The speaking self is just one of the parts.
The envelope of mystery that I address
In dialogue with absences
To the blameless night may never reach
Its destination. But I is undeterred.
Syphilitic schizophrenics walking in the park
Stave off the bad words emanating from
The unintentional topiary shrubs.
The purpose of these judgments will be
Revealed. Not to me. Who the hell are you?
A turd dissolves in the grass just as the self
Against the bushes. To the far-flung deserts of the soul,
To the evaporated cities of the mind,
Jagged transition declares the inexorable
Tipping of epochs, like the temporal subduction
Under the house where the wrapping paper
Of children sloughs off year after year
Till the big one jolts everyone involved
To a new consciousness—of life, yes,
Life conscious of itself as for the first time
In the midst of this long series of aftershocks.
The present is maddening, in a way, despite
Its salutary effects. Everything, all at once,
With you and ignoring you, a glimpse
Into totality, an infinitesimal part
Of the perception of God, for a fraction
Of a part of a second, must be indulged
As an intense pleasure, half pain,
In roughly regular intervals, like a season.
All things end where they begin,
In the middle of other things.
The backside of the hour does not go down
So smooth. The hovering between chains of sense
Opens into long vacancies, or vacations,
For the hard-working angels of the tribe,
Whose ephemeral half-lives, thoroughly known,
Have been going on beautifully without you.