Randal and His Limitations

“so many lists keep growing, and are saddening”


Sweet Randal of necessity,
wields the self with such gracious skill
that he is his own line
with which to cut the eggs up.
Or over which the pelts may be pulled to pitch a tent
on the edge of clarity,
making a white solar system of the feet and arms
and healthy hair
in the tent, and outside
there are only subtle gravities sewing themselves
into the rocking, sumptuous tissue
which eats and often nourishes, but not here…

Immaculate, literate, Randal you are more at home
amidst the maple, or the fables, or the sepals, not the petals, though.
Begin, Randal, where you are safe:
there is a shore that anxious people visualize,
and you are there for them,
modulating the breeze,
offering, by blinking your palm, a blank sun, a blank white sun
devoid of judgment.


Captain teaches me to sail:
he makes me fly a cheap kite in a dead sky.
I pull the string, and stretching out from me
is an unnourished, silent, kneeling, thing.
It flies no higher than my head,
the movement of my arm desperate
against the material of the air,
it is like failing to caress a breast,
it is grim seamstressry
it is the wilderness of my heart
asserting a queer ecology,
that, exposed to this sky, immediately unbraids and rumples at the edges.
I am terrified at the prospect of folding it.

It flies no higher than my head.

This is what Captain says:
“There is no fishing line flung from the ship of state.
What would you catch? Schvartze?” Captain!
“If a man shoots down five other men, and has five bullets
that nobody knows about,
then all the bullets are accounted for,
and he cannot be blamed. He has done nothing wrong.
The men have died in an exercise.
I once saw an octopus eat its own tentacles.
I once was a man eating his own penis.
But I was not myself. I was myself, but I was also a prostitute.”

This is what Captain says:
“I once found that I loved me, in the future, and I told.”
Captain, I once found that I loved you, in the future, and you told.

We sail on:
We make a bonfire on the edge of clarity,
torch the relics,
and use the night
until we are burning.

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