“Lean lean on the abyss on vertigo
lean lean on nothingness
lean lean on conflagration”
I lean on a white salmon & cream-colored Arachne sending out her lasso over
the bright patio of La Pescalerie.
On Whitman’s keelson, the backbone of Osiris indicated along the bottom of
the coffin against which the mummy’s spine pressed.
On the Sheela-na-gigs, like tots in a green glade, dancing the Formorian jig.
On my bottle of one-thousand-proof uterine grog.
On every angel’s insectile feelers.
On the Abbé Breuil—unlike Ezekiel lying in dung to raise man to a vision of
the infinite—on his back below the ceiling of Combarelles tracing the silex
On “the vast ventriloquism of sleep’s faded papier-mâché.”
On the breath-favorable Sabbath moment in every hour.
I lean as well on the slave-strewn harpsichord I discovered in my mother’s womb,
on the Lima “barriadas” when I was an apolitical American seeking some truth,
February 1966, right after Matthew was born,
on my walks up those awful hills of waterless poverty,
on my fantasy that I was following some new Stations of the Cross…
Absence as the unacknowledged genuflection in every breath—
I bow to you, O primary presence for billions of years.
Bow back to me, gaseous nebulae, so beautiful, so null.
Beyond memory and experience to hear a mole orchestra knocking out Beethoven.
To hear in that clangor the women cut up into breasts being knotted into incendiary
I lean on the necessity and the madness of pulling those pins.