I have stared into the ceiling and read its cracks
like the language of the Pre-Cambrian world.
I have reached for water in a poem
and a teaspoon of matter from a collapsing star.
I have seen the corner of the wall come apart
like a piling from a weathered pier
and am a peeping-Tom through louvered blinds
that mutilate the sun. I've listened by the light
and was cradled by barbiturates.
I fell asleep on the floor like an animal
who never made it back. I watched dust breed.
I have heard it said I live on the street
where the great fire died from exhaustion.
I inhale and am young and exhale and grow old.
In the cupboards I find objects and chemicals,
sacred and sacrilegious. My daily bread.
Poems by John Waldman:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets