September 29, 2021

After Wallace Stevens, “Of Mere Being”

At the end of the mind there is anesthesia.
At the end of the mind there is a discotheque.
Supper with a portrait of your great grandpa, suddenly alive.
An idiot flies by in a balloon and plays a fife.
 
On the edge of space, under a palm,
stands a gingerbread house, on hen’s legs.
On the edge of space there is the North Pole:
a day half a year long, snow, sleds glide beyond the horizon.
 
At the end of the mind there is a porn film:
your poor fantasy projected on a screen over and over
(whether you were fond of it or not,
whether you planned to fulfill it or not) –
did you really believe no one knew?
 
On the edge of space there is a cottage, and a shelling of peas.
Oh my, it’s stuffy, a storm’s coming.
At the end of the mind a fly buzzes, Emily.
At the end of the mind a dog barks.
 
It barks, it barks, it barks,
baring fangs and gums. It tears at the chain, the chain grinds.
The image and the sound, and later only the sound:
a dog barks, a dog barks – through eternity.

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