May 24 1980
I have braved for want of wild beasts steel cages
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters
lived by the sea flashed aces in an oasis
dined with the-devil-knows-whom in tails on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world the earthly
Twice have drowned thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles
worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter
planted rye tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables
guzzled everything save dry water.
I've admitted the sentries' third eye into my wetand foul
Munched the bread of exile; it's stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper.
Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelette though makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx
only gratitude will be gushing from it.