Truly it is strange, to inhabit the earth no longer,
Barely-learned customs to practice no more,
No longer to see roses and other especially promising things as things with a future of human meaning;
The “that” that we were in endlessly anxious hands, no more to be,
And even our own name to leave behind like a broken toy.
Strange. . . . desires no longer to desire. Strange,
All that was held together in form, so loosely fluttering in space.
And being dead is arduous and full of retrieval before you can gradually feel a trace of eternity.
But we the living all make the mistake of too clear distinctions.
Angels, (they say) don’t know if it is the living they are moving among, or the dead.
The eternal current tears through both realms, always only itself, and always sounding in both.
Luciano Arschenkopf, a helper on a beer truck, was gabbing at The Greasy Spoon the other very hot day. He asked Anthony, the auto mechanic, if he planned to change the fan belt on his customer’s Porsche.
“Dumbass,” said Anthony. He was very tall, with green teeth and long bones. His skin was grey with big pits from the acne that had ravaged him for many years.
“Guy who owns it is a rock star,” said Luciano.
“What the fuck do I care,” said Anthony, who wanted to be a rock star himself.
“He rocks,” Luciano said
“He’s got a screw loose. Goes from car to car. Can’t stay with one. Loves it one minute, gotta have it, gotta have it, the next minute he’s dumping it, can’t stand it, begging me to take it off his hands.”
“Gives it to you?”
“Whatcha think I said?”
“It’s hot enough here to bake bread. Have a lemonade.”
“I took two of ‘em. I’m not taking one more. I don’t know what was going through that dumbass’s mind. He knows I don’t got enough money to take care of a Mercedes and a Porsche.”
“You can sell them.”
“I’m doin’ it. I’m doin’ it.”
Oh, how an angel would trample to nothing this mart of distraction
That skirts their church – a developer’s property,
Clean and closed as a shopping center on Sunday.
Beyond it a whirl, the air’s fringes. Dippers
Into freedom. Tumblers and jugglers – all on the make.