because she demands the perfect beauty
that men cannot provide for her. But still,
she insists upon the ideal, the adamantine grace
which never corrupts nor withers to destruction.
She draws the sculptor into rivers of failure,
baiting him with the taste of an immortality that
her fickle hands are wholly unable to provide;
She is cruel and her mind is a monster,
even if her heart does flood through all oceans.

Things are imperfect because they must start
and then stop. Yet, in between, they become
something altogether remarkable and alive,
that human thinking could neither predesign
nor enclose and house within its gearworks. The mind
knows nothing: it is black vacuum, a cavern.

Before the David crumbles into marble cloud,
it will have endured many stony centuries
of subtle, beautiful life. Its elephantine hands
will blossom in man's memory; its godlike stare
shall linger beyond flagging eyelids. Such a king,
triumphant in time, should conquer human history.

-October, 2000

Coming down gritty stairs to the subway platform,
I notice my muse there. He's across the tracks,
Impeccably dressed, holding a large book
(Moby-Dick, or War And Peace).
He condescends to wave to me, weakly, bored.

At his mercy I ask him for wisdom; me
A beggar holding a pen, a notepad. He

Lets the book fall open on his hands,
Reads from across the blackened rails.

now, I intone excitedly, "I dig, I dig,"
Fancying myself a Ginsberg or Burroughs,
And nodding at the mysteries he begins to explain to me.
I'm on page nine. The other eight are smeared garbage (my own).
It's nothing, I'm throwing it out.

When he gets to the Good Part, the meat,
The train pours by. The tunnel vomits metal and human waste,
Managing to scream out while its mouth is full of bile.
It must have two mouths, one just for screaming in my ear.
Its evolution was based on spite.

I can't hear another word, and I
Mime deafness through the subway windows
Regularly ticking by between us.
He's grinning, because he understands me.

He planned the interruption. I can see the train schedule curled in his jacket pocket.
He gave me a taste and then pulled away, once I caught a glimpse of what he had.

I look at
The notes he gave me.
Dropped pennies and nickels.
He's got a wad of twenties, I know it, but those aren't for me yet.

Hand in pocket.
Weight on one leg,
Watching my train barrel on to the next stop without letting me on.

Round glasses,
Jackass smile.

I take a bus.

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