Arthur Seefahrt

Alchemy

 

 

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 

 

disappears

 

 

 

 

 

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