I am lazy, the laziest girl in the world. I sleep during the day when I want to, 'til my face is creased and swollen, 'til my lips are dry and hot. I eat as I please: cookies and milk after lunch, butter and sour cream on my baked potato, foods that slothful people eat, that turn yellow and opaque beneath the skin. Sometimes come dinnertime Sunday I am still in my nightgown, the one with the lace trim listing because I have not mended it. Many days I do not exercise, only consider it, then rub my curdy belly and lie down. Even my poems are lazy. I use syllabics instead of iambs, prefer slant to the gong of full rhyme, write briefly while others go for pages. And yesterday, for example, I did not work at all! I got in my car and I drove to factory outlet stores, purchased stockings and panties and socks with my father's money. To think, in childhood I missed only one day of school per year. I went to ballet class four days a week at four-forty-five and on Saturdays, beginning always with plie, ending with curtsy. To think, I knew only industry, the industry of my race and of immigrants, the radio tuned always to the station that said, Line up your summer job months in advance. Work hard and do not shame your family, who worked hard to give you what you have. There is no sin but sloth. Burn to a wick and keep moving. I avoided sleep for years, up at night replaying evening news stories about nearby jailbreaks, fat people who ate fried chicken and woke up dead. In sleep I am looking for poems in the shape of open V's of birds flying in formation, or open arms saying, I forgive you, all.
In memory of Jay Kashiwamura
In Chicago, it is snowing softly and a man has just done his wash for the week. He steps into the twilight of early evening, carrying a wrinkled shopping bag full of neatly folded clothes, and, for a moment, enjoys the feel of warm laundry and crinkled paper, flannellike against his gloveless hands. There's a Rembrandt glow on his face, a triangle of orange in the hollow of his cheek as a last flash of sunset blazes the storefronts and lit windows of the street. He is Asian, Thai or Vietnamese, and very skinny, dressed as one of the poor in rumpled suit pants and a plaid mackinaw, dingy and too large. He negotiates the slick of ice on the sidewalk by his car, opens the Fairlane's back door, leans to place the laundry in, and turns, for an instant, toward the flurry of footsteps and cries of pedestrians as a boy--that's all he was-- backs from the corner package store shooting a pistol, firing it, once, at the dumbfounded man who falls forward, grabbing at his chest. A few sounds escape from his mouth, a babbling no one understands as people surround him bewildered at his speech. The noises he makes are nothing to them. The boy has gone, lost in the light array of foot traffic dappling the snow with fresh prints. Tonight, I read about Descartes' grand courage to doubt everything except his own miraculous existence and I feel so distinct from the wounded man lying on the concrete I am ashamed Let the night sky cover him as he dies. Let the weaver girl cross the bridge of heaven and take up his cold hands.
He gossips like my grandmother, this man with my face, and I could stand amused all afternoon in the Hon Kee Grocery, amid hanging meats he chops: roast pork cut from a hog hung by nose and shoulders, her entire skin burnt crisp, flesh I know to be sweet, her shining face grinning up at ducks dangling single file, each pierced by black hooks through breast, bill, and steaming from a hole stitched shut at the ass, I step to the counter, recite, and he, without even slightly varying the rhythm of his current confession or harangue, scribbles my order on a greasy receipt, and chops it up quick. Such a sorrowful Chinese face, nomad, Gobi, Northern in its boniness clear from the high warlike forehead to the sheer edge of the jaw. He could be my brother, but finer, and, except for his left forearm, which is engorged, sinewy from his daily grip and wield of a two-pound tool, he's delicate, narrow- waisted, his frame so slight a lover, some rough other might break it down its smooth, oily length. In his light-handed calligraphy on receipts and in his moodiness, he is a Southerner from a river-province; suited for scholarship, his face poised above an open book, he'd mumble his favorite passages. He could be my grandfather; come to America to get a Western education in 1917, but too homesick to study, he sits in the park all day, reading poems and writing letters to his mother. He lops the head off, chops the neck of the duck into six, slits the body open, groin to breast, and drains the scalding juices, then quarters the carcass with two fast hacks of the cleaver, old blade that has worn into the surface of the round foot-thick chop-block a scoop that cradles precisely the curved steel. The head, flung from the body, opens down the middle where the butcher cleanly halved it between the eyes, and I see, foetal-crouched inside the skull, the homunculus, gray brain grainy to eat. Did this animal, after all, at the moment its neck broke, image the way his executioner shrinks from his own death? Is this how I, too, recoil from my day? See how this shape hordes itself, see how little it is. See its grease on the blade. Is this how I'll be found when judgement is passed, when names are called, when crimes are tallied? This is also how I looked before I tore my mother open. Is this how I presided over my century, is this how I regarded the murders? This is also how I prayed. Was it me in the Other I prayed to when I prayed? This too was how I slept, clutching my wife. Was it me in the other I loved when I loved another? The butcher sees me eye this delicacy. With a finger, he picks it out of the skull-cradle and offers it to me. I take it gingerly between my fingers and suck it down. I eat my man. The noise the body makes when the body meets the soul over the soul's ocean and penumbra is the old sound of up-and-down, in-and-out, a lump of muscle chug-chugging blood into the ear; a lover's heart-shaped tongue; flesh rocking flesh until flesh comes; the butcher working at his block and blade to marry their shapes by violence and time; an engine crossing, re-crossing salt water, hauling immigrants and the junk of the poor. These are the faces I love, the bodies and scents of bodies for which I long in various ways, at various times, thirteen gathered around the redwood, happy, talkative, voracious at day's end, eager to eat four kinds of meat prepared four different ways, numerous plates and bowls of rice and vegetables, each made by distinct affections and brought to table by many hands. Brothers and sisters by blood and design, who sit in separate bodies of varied shapes, we constitute a many-membered body of love. In a world of shapes of my desires, each one here is a shape of one of my desires, and each is known to me and dear by virtue of each one's unique corruption of those texts, the face, the body: that jut jaw to gnash tendon; that wide nose to meet the blows a face like that invites; those long eyes closing on the seen; those thick lips to suck the meat of animals or recite 300 poems of the T'ang; these teeth to bite my monosyllables; these cheekbones to make those syllables sing the soul. Puffed or sunken according to the life, dark or light according to the birth, straight or humped, whole, manqué, quasi, each pleases, verging on utter grotesquery. All are beautiful by variety. The soul too is a debasement of a text, but, thus, it acquires salience, although a human salience, but inimitable, and, hence, memorable. God is the text. The soul is a corruption and a mnemonic. A bright moment, I hold up an old head from the sea and admire the haughty down-curved mouth that seems to disdain all the eyes are blind to, including me, the eater. Whole unto itself, complete without me, yet its shape complements the shape of my mind. I take it as text and evidence of the world's love for me, and I feel urged to utterance, urged to read the body of the world, urged to say it in human terms, my reading a kind of eating, my eating a kind of reading, my saying a diminishment, my noise a love-in-answer. What is it in me would devour the world to utter it? What is it in me will not let the world be, would eat not just this fish, but the one who killed it, the butcher who cleaned it. I would eat the way he squats, the way he reaches into the plastic tubs and pulls out a fish, clubs it, takes it to the sink, guts it, drops it on the weighing pan. I would eat that thrash and plunge of the watery body in the water, that liquid violence between the man's hands, I would eat the gutless twitching on the scales, three pounds of dumb nerve and pulse, I would eat it all to utter it. The deaths at the sinks, those bodies prepared for eating, I would eat, and the standing deaths at the counters, in the aisles, the walking deaths in the streets, the death-far-from-home, the death- in-a-strange-land, these Chinatown deaths, these American deaths. I would devour this race to sing it, this race that according to Emerson managed to preserve to a hair for three or four thousand years the ugliest features in the world. I would eat these features, eat the last three or four thousand years, every hair. And I would eat Emerson, his transparent soul, his soporific transcendence. I would eat this head, glazed in pepper-speckled sauce, the cooked eyes opaque in their sockets. I bring it to my mouth and-- the way I was taught, the way I've watched others before me do-- with a stiff tongue lick out the cheek-meat and the meat over the armored jaw, my eating, its sensual, salient nowness, punctuating the void from which such hunger springs and to which it proceeds. And what is this I excavate with my mouth? What is this plated, ribbed, hinged architecture, this carp head, but one more articulation of a single nothing severally manifested? What is my eating, rapt as it is, but another shape of going, my immaculate expiration? O, nothing is so steadfast it won't go the way the body goes. The body goes. The body's grave, so serious in its dying, arduous as martyrs in that task and as glorious. It goes empty always and announces its going by spasms and groans, farts and sweats. What I thought were the arms aching cleave, were the knees trembling leave. What I thought were the muscles insisting resist, persist, exist, were the pores hissing mist and waste. What I thought was the body humming reside, reside, was the body sighing revise, revise. O, the murderous deletions, the keening down to nothing, the cleaving. All of the body's revisions end in death. All of the body's revisions end. Bodies eating bodies, heads eating heads, we are nothing eating nothing, and though we feast, are filled, overfilled, we go famished. We gang the doors of death. That is, out deaths are fed that we may continue our daily dying, our bodies going down, while the plates-soon-empty are passed around, that true direction of our true prayers, while the butcher spells his message, manifold, in the mortal air. He coaxes, cleaves, brings change before our very eyes, and at every moment of our being. As we eat we're eaten. Else what is this violence, this salt, this passion, this heaven? I thought the soul an airy thing. I did not know the soul is cleaved so that the soul might be restored. Live wood hewn, its sap springs from a sticky wound. No seed, no egg has he whose business calls for an axe. In the trade of my soul's shaping, he traffics in hews and hacks. No easy thing, violence. One of its names? Change. Change resides in the embrace of the effaced and the effacer, in the covenant of the opened and the opener; the axe accomplishes it on the soul's axis. What then may I do but cleave to what cleaves me. I kiss the blade and eat my meat. I thank the wielder and receive, while terror spirits my change, sorrow also. The terror the butcher scripts in the unhealed air, the sorrow of his Shang dynasty face, African face with slit eyes. He is my sister, this beautiful Bedouin, this Shulamite, keeper of sabbaths, diviner of holy texts, this dark dancer, this Jew, this Asian, this one with the Cambodian face, Vietnamese face, this Chinese I daily face, this immigrant, this man with my own face.
for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center
Alabanza. Praise the cook with the shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye, a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago. Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea. Alabanza. Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua, for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes. Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza. Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up, like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium. Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations: Ecuador, México, Republica Dominicana, Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh. Alabanza. Praise the kitchen in the morning, where the gas burned blue on every stove and exhaust fans fired their diminutive propellers, hands cracked eggs with quick thumbs or sliced open cartons to build an altar of cans. Alabanza. Praise the busboy's music, the chime-chime of his dishes and silverware in the tub. Alabanza. Praise the dish-dog, the dishwasher who worked that morning because another dishwasher could not stop coughing, or because he needed overtime to pile the sacks of rice and beans for a family floating away on some Caribbean island plagued by frogs. Alabanza. Praise the waitress who heard the radio in the kitchen and sang to herself about a man gone. Alabanza. After the thunder wilder than thunder, after the booming ice storm of glass from the great windows, after the radio stopped singing like a tree full of terrified frogs, after night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen, for a time the stoves glowed in darkness like the lighthouse in Fajardo, like a cook's soul. Soul I say, even if the dead cannot tell us about the bristles of God's beard because God has no face, soul I say, to name the smoke-beings flung in constellations across the night sky of this city and cities to come. Alabanza I say, even if God has no face. Alabanza. When the war began, from Manhattan to Kabul two constellations of smoke rose and drifted to each other, mingling in icy air, and one said with an Afghan tongue: Teach me to dance. We have no music here. And the other said with a Spanish tongue: I will teach you. Music is all we have.
Don't need picket fences, brick wall, or razor wire. Our home's protected by prickly pear cactus and thorny bougainvillea. * Native or not, you're welcome in our gardens. Lavender's dress is not so vibrant as your green trousers and purple velour sleeves.
The hills my brothers & I created Never balanced, & it took years To discover how the world worked. We could look at a tree of blackbirds & tell you how many were there, But with the scrap dealer Our math was always off. Weeks of lifting & grunting Never added up to much, But we couldn't stop Believing in iron. Abandoned trucks & cars Were held to the ground By thick, nostalgic fingers of vines Strong as a dozen sharecroppers. We'd return with our wheelbarrow Groaning under a new load, Yet tiger lilies lived better In their languid, August domain. Among paper & Coke bottles Foundry smoke erased sunsets, & we couldn't believe iron Left men bent so close to the earth As if the ore under their breath Weighed down the gray sky. Sometimes I dreamt how our hills Washed into a sea of metal, How it all became an anchor For a warship or bomber Out over trees with blooms Too red to look at.
Was he looking for St. Lucia's light to touch his face those first days in the official November snow & sleet falling on the granite pose of Lincoln? If he were searching for property lines drawn in the blood, or for a hint of resolve crisscrossing a border, maybe he'd find clues in the taste of breadfruit. I could see him stopped there squinting in crooked light, the haze of Wall Street touching clouds of double consciousness, an eye etched into a sign borrowed from Egypt. If he's looking for tips on basketball, how to rise up & guard the hoop, he may glean a few theories about war but they aren't in The Star-Apple Kingdom. If he wants to finally master himself, searching for clues to govern seagulls in salty air, he'll find henchmen busy with locks & chains in a ghost schooner's nocturnal calm. He's reading someone who won't speak of milk & honey, but of looking ahead beyond pillars of salt raised in a dream where fat bulbs split open the earth. The spine of the manifest was broken, leaking deeds, songs & testaments. Justice stood in the shoes of mercy, & doubt was bandaged up & put to bed. Now, he looks as if he wants to eat words, their sweet, intoxicating flavor. Banana leaf & animal, being & nonbeing. In fact, craving wisdom, he bites into memory. The President of the United States of America thumbs the pages slowly, moving from reverie to reverie, learning why one envies the octopus for its ink, how a man's skin becomes the final page.
an essay on assimilation
I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin Oh, how I love the resoluteness of that first person singular followed by that stalwart indicative of "be," without the uncertain i-n-g of "becoming." Of course, the name had been changed somewhere between Angel Island and the sea, when my father the paperson in the late 1950s obsessed with a bombshell blond transliterated "Mei Ling" to "Marilyn." And nobody dared question his initial impulse—for we all know lust drove men to greatness, not goodness, not decency. And there I was, a wayward pink baby, named after some tragic white woman swollen with gin and Nembutal. My mother couldn't pronounce the "r." She dubbed me "Numba one female offshoot" for brevity: henceforth, she will live and die in sublime ignorance, flanked by loving children and the "kitchen deity." While my father dithers, a tomcat in Hong Kong trash— a gambler, a petty thug, who bought a chain of chopsuey joints in Piss River, Oregon, with bootlegged Gucci cash. Nobody dared question his integrity given his nice, devout daughters and his bright, industrious sons as if filial piety were the standard by which all earthly men are measured. * Oh, how trustworthy our daughters, how thrifty our sons! How we've managed to fool the experts in education, statistic and demography— We're not very creative but not adverse to rote-learning. Indeed, they can use us. But the "Model Minority" is a tease. We know you are watching now, so we refuse to give you any! Oh, bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots! The further west we go, we'll hit east; the deeper down we dig, we'll find China. History has turned its stomach on a black polluted beach— where life doesn't hinge on that red, red wheelbarrow, but whether or not our new lover in the final episode of "Santa Barbara" will lean over a scented candle and call us a "bitch." Oh God, where have we gone wrong? We have no inner resources! * Then, one redolent spring morning the Great Patriarch Chin peered down from his kiosk in heaven and saw that his descendants were ugly. One had a squarish head and a nose without a bridge Another's profile—long and knobbed as a gourd. A third, the sad, brutish one may never, never marry. And I, his least favorite— "not quite boiled, not quite cooked," a plump pomfret simmering in my juices— too listless to fight for my people's destiny. "To kill without resistance is not slaughter" says the proverb. So, I wait for imminent death. The fact that this death is also metaphorical is testament to my lethargy. * So here lies Marilyn Mei Ling Chin, married once, twice to so-and-so, a Lee and a Wong, granddaughter of Jack "the patriarch" and the brooding Suilin Fong, daughter of the virtuous Yuet Kuen Wong and G.G. Chin the infamous, sister of a dozen, cousin of a million, survived by everbody and forgotten by all. She was neither black nor white, neither cherished nor vanquished, just another squatter in her own bamboo grove minding her poetry— when one day heaven was unmerciful, and a chasm opened where she stood. Like the jowls of a mighty white whale, or the jaws of a metaphysical Godzilla, it swallowed her whole. She did not flinch nor writhe, nor fret about the afterlife, but stayed! Solid as wood, happily a little gnawed, tattered, mesmerized by all that was lavished upon her and all that was taken away!
June already, it's your birth month, nine months since the towers fell. I set olive twigs in my hair torn from a tree in Central Park, I ride a painted horse, its mane a sullen wonder. You are behind me on a lilting mare. You whisper--What of happiness? Dukham, Federico. Smoke fills my eyes. Young, I was raised to a sorrow song short fires and stubble on a monsoon coast. The leaves in your cap are very green. The eyes of your mare never close. Somewhere you wrote: Despedida. If I die leave the balcony open!
"A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands," my father would say. And he'd prove it, cupping the buzzer instantly while the host with the swatter stared. In the spring our palms peeled like snakes. True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways. I changed these to fit the occasion. Years before, a girl knocked, wanted to see the Arab. I said we didn't have one. After that, my father told me who he was, "Shihab"—"shooting star"— a good name, borrowed from the sky. Once I said, "When we die, we give it back?" He said that's what a true Arab would say. Today the headlines clot in my blood. A little Palestinian dangles a toy truck on the front page. Homeless fig, this tragedy with a terrible root is too big for us. What flag can we wave? I wave the flag of stone and seed, table mat stitched in blue. I call my father, we talk around the news. It is too much for him, neither of his two languages can reach it. I drive into the country to find sheep, cows, to plead with the air: Who calls anyone civilized? Where can the crying heart graze? What does a true Arab do now?
For Naomi Ginsberg, 1894-1956
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village. downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after-- And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing how we suffer-- And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember, prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of An- swers--and my own imagination of a withered leaf--at dawn-- Dreaming back thru life, Your time--and mine accelerating toward Apoca- lypse, the final moment--the flower burning in the Day--and what comes after, looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed-- like a poem in the dark--escaped back to Oblivion-- No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream, trapped in its disappearance, sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worship- ping each other, worshipping the God included in it all--longing or inevitability?--while it lasts, a Vision--anything more? It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder, Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shoul- dering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant--and the sky above--an old blue place. or down the Avenue to the south, to--as I walk toward the Lower East Side --where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the first poisonous tomatoes of America frightened on the dock then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?--toward Newark-- toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards-- Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school, and learning to be mad, in a dream--what is this life? Toward the Key in the window--and the great Key lays its head of light on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the sidewalk--in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward the Yiddish Theater--and the place of poverty you knew, and I know, but without caring now--Strange to have moved thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again, with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstops doors and dark boys on the street, fire escapes old as you --Tho you're not old now, that's left here with me-- Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe--and I guess that dies with us--enough to cancel all that comes--What came is gone forever every time-- That's good! That leaves it open for no regret--no fear radiators, lacklove, torture even toothache in the end-- Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul, in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin, braintricked Implacability. Ai! ai! we do worse! We are in a fix! And you're out, Death let you out, Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure --Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the world-- There, rest. No more suffering for you. I know where you've gone, it's good. No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more fear of Louis, and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts, loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands-- No more of sister Elanor,--she gone before you--we kept it secret you killed her--or she killed herself to bear with you--an arthritic heart --But Death's killed you both--No matter-- Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and weeks--forgetting, agrieve watching Marie Dressler address human- ity, Chaplin dance in youth, or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin's at the Met, halling his voice of a weeping Czar --by standing room with Elanor & Max--watching also the Capital ists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds, with the YPSL's hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920 all girls grown old, or dead now, and that long hair in the grave--lucky to have husbands later-- You made it--I came too--Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer--or kill --later perhaps--soon he will think--) And it's the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now --tho not you I didn't foresee what you felt--what more hideous gape of bad mouth came first--to you--and were you prepared? To go where? In that Dark--that--in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the Void? Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream? Adonoi at last, with you? Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon--Deaths- head with Halo? can you believe it? Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence, than none ever was? Nothing beyond what we have--what you had--that so pitiful--yet Tri- umph, to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower--fed to the ground--but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe, shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth wrapped, sore--freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless. No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the knife--lost Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy--even in the Spring--strange ghost thought some--Death--Sharp icicle in his hand--crowned with old roses--a dog for his eyes--cock of a sweatshop--heart of electric irons. All the accumulations of life, that wear us out--clocks, bodies, consciousness, shoes, breasts--begotten sons--your Communism--'Paranoia' into hospitals. You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later. You of stroke. Asleep? within a year, the two of you, sisters in death. Is Elanor happy? Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over midnight Accountings, not sure. His life passes--as he sees--and what does he doubt now? Still dream of making money, or that might have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Im- mortality, Naomi? I'll see him soon. Now I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't when you had a mouth. Forever. And we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses --headed to the End. They know the way--These Steeds--run faster than we think--it's our own life they cross--and take with them. Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, mar- ried dreamed, mortal changed--Ass and face done with murder. In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept. Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless, Father in death. Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not light or darkness, Dayless Eternity-- Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some of my Time, now given to Nothing--to praise Thee--But Death This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Won- derer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping --page beyond Psalm--Last change of mine and Naomi--to God's perfect Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms! II Over and over--refrain--of the Hospitals--still haven't written your history--leave it abstract--a few images run thru the mind--like the saxophone chorus of houses and years-- remembrance of electrical shocks. By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your nervousness--you were fat--your next move-- By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you-- once and for all--when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my opinion of the cosmos, I was lost-- By my later burden--vow to illuminate mankind--this is release of particulars--(mad as you)--(sanity a trick of agreement)-- But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and spied a mystical assassin from Newark, So phoned the Doctor--'OK go way for a rest'--so I put on my coat and walked you downstreet--On the way a grammarschool boy screamed, unaccountably--'Where you goin Lady to Death'? I shuddered-- and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma-- And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of the gang? You shuddered at his face, I could hardly get you on--to New York, very Times Square, to grab another Greyhound--