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Arthur Seefahrt




I have been living in the wilderness


so I must enter through the back door


when I arrive at the first house


In it I determine the length of my life


by sitting on bare floor boards


before a bowl of rice    a bowl of salt


and one silver moodring





The second house I enter


dripping through the seams 


between         by folding


There are so many coins


but it is a very dark house


which smells of smoldering flowers


and I search for you      out of instinct


with my left hand feeling in 


the shadow for a vacancy


that has already found me


I will not be a rich man





I am the servant 


in the fourth house


there are nine women


who do not know I am in love with them


I put on a uniform


to stoke the fire


to pour the tea


but the first snow has already fallen





If you are to know whether a woman


has eaten the grain kernel


or if she will


light a cigarette            let the ash


fall as it will                  as the snow does


Look down into the mirror


If the ash obscures your eyes


you will find your answer 


under a municipal streetlamp


if the ash obscures your mouth


seek no further in this silo        remember


you are armed with a pleasant steel spade





I fell asleep with my spade


in hand            and awoke in the sixth house


its cavernous ceiling curtained 


with the flayed skins of history’s painters


I turned the dial on the AM receiver


but all I can hear is Saturn


so I wander again down the halls


of the ancient hospice            which wheezes


and groans in the deep shifting earth


It is still night                there is no exit





Searching in my pockets I find


the seventh house          and there has been a theft


I thought I had rationed my pink soft


expectancy       the seventh house is lit


but vacant        my demons are no where to be found   


I do not count myself


and the women are departed


as the evening settles over


purple veils         and their slow train 








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