Spring 2001


William Seaton


He's fallen
like a leaf
and the leaf
pulled to it
the earth
and the earth
and the leaf
met like thunder.

One day he spotted the world's navel in a Salvation Army hot-plate and he looked
and fell in and was gone.
He winked at a Sri Lankan monk studying flesh gone far beyond and new bodies
arriving daily and was gone.
He called for his check and the Aztec waiter appeared with his heart on a platter
and he took one look and was gone.
Uneasy in the underworld, he turned and bumped and glanced out from Japanese
sado-masochism funnies and was gone.
He sought to reopen Zukabee on heavy metal teeshirts and mounted his show of
tender lost tin cans but was gone.

He sought his space in downtown back alleys, and lonely air shafts, but finding no solace in these spots he soon was gone.
Ub Iwerks was jiving with a bunch of loose-boned cats, and Steve hooked up with them and danced and they were gone!
And they beat a rhythm like heavy rain on the tin roof of the skull and they played and they played till they were gone.
And the water ran to ditches with rich and shining filth and steam rose and smoke
from a myriad fires and it went up and was gone.
Then the chorus of dying gnats rose in a silver cloud, like dark and shifting oil, a slick upon the mind until that too was gone.

This earth, it is so comfortable
(this is the gnats' sweet song).
with garbage and with corpses
that show us we belong.

William Seaton is founder of Poetry on the Loose. About this text, he writes, it "was composed for a Poetry on the Loose event in the Zukabee Gallery in Middletown, New York on October 1, 1994. Steve Clair, the gallery's owner, observed his move from an old furniture factory to a downtown storefront by staging his own wake. At the front of the hall stood a genuine coffin of substantial quality. Steve had prayer cards printed for himself. His original concept was to consume some drug that would render him apparently lifeless and to recline in the coffin, but in the end he sat in the second row while poets declaimed Clair's own work as well as their own."




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