A man is wounded by lightning.
He gets up, smoke still rising from his rags.
He takes a step, and another...
This goes on for a while.
But once touched that way,
how difficult, suddenly, to imagine
the life ahead.
What days or years could tip the scales
against such a moment?
What hand could stand the comparison?
The wound never closes;
it grows like the grin of an imbecile, and the man
sickens and dies.
The wound, however, has found a reason to live,
going about the man’s business
in his shoes, in his rags.


The long shuddering intake of breath
From the air conditioner
Plays its one plaintive note

For all it’s worth
So much feeling in that undying
Death rattle
I believe more than the air
Is being conditioned
And behind it the cry of crickets
Where there are no crickets
The crickets are in me
All of this is somewhere in me
And I am somewhere else
A vista opening upon a verge
Scenes waiting to become sounds
Sounds waiting to become words
Words waiting to become thoughts
Thoughts waiting to remake the world
Because the world they behold
Is unbearably bright and utterly silent
Strange and beautiful and terrifying


They locked me in a dark room

with what’s-her-face
to see which of us would emerge alive.
“Imperishable!” I hissed.
She recoiled while the word
went off to slit its wrists.
“Taxable income!” she retorted.
I was stunned, caught off guard.
I began to feel about the size of a voodoo doll.
“Total commitment!” I threw at her,
but it might as well have been a marshmallow.
“Arctic... funereal...” I was desperate
and she knew it. She paused for several years
to apply some eyeliner.
Her last words to me were: “Executive whole life.”
They didn’t hurt, didn’t kill,
but they brought the house down
with a frail rain of sawdust.