of Chaos on Void
by Matthew Zeisberg ~ 1981
The sand is frozen in the glass
Magenta clouds hang low over cattails
Our boat glides past the dark reeds.
Water laps gently at the prow,
But the stroke is sure and strong.
For the ancient oarsman knows his way
Traveling the crack between the day
and eternal night.
A Time of life rhyme
A lie names it harmony.
A time of innocence and instant trust
Glancing backwards with disgust
the thread unravels,
Till Manfred stands alone for a moment
Breathing rare music from the chasm.
Then Sunset when the dark caves in
And a Kaf'ka vermin
Belly crawls in his lonely burrow,
Terrified of his shadow
Sniffing stale wind
Whistling along the tunnel
Mocking voices that jumble and funnel
From the time of the sun
An old bum sits in a Salvation Army, his
hands shaking as he rolls a cigarette from
the battered can of Prince Albert. Two days
ago he rode the rails from Fresno, with a
Sacramento chill that he felt in his bones.
Winter's coming on. Nowhere to go, he wastes
the day away at the labor pool. He doesn't
stand a chance of getting on a work crew but
he enjoys playing cards and bullshitting with
the younger guys - - listening now to the minister
drone on, watching the twilight fall through
the dusty mission windows. Waiting till the
end of the sermon till he can smoke a cigarette
and eat his chow. Suddenly an angle swoops
down and tugs at the bottle in his coat pocket.
"That's mine - fuck off - that's for after
dinner," he mutters and threatens but the
angel persists. As the angel flies off with
the bottle, the old bum moans:
"Spring is sprung at God's doom,
And life is long, I choose," he weezed
Grabbing for a wing
"And sing," he groaned.