Lanthanum 1.16


Hobo, wrecked old limey, lies in sickbay
plastered up against the wall. The window,
lit with a sheen of Art Deco frost, glows.
Dawn, held in glass, pulses, faintly. This way,

this way
... which way? His memory's gone.
And yet it's there. Teasing, mocking him.
Light like the bent and narrow beam of some
lunar ellipse, the sidelong glance of some cagey

Diane. Dizziness, heaviness, light-headedness...
odd disembodiment, gravity-suspension...
Disconsolate Psyche stares toward the open
sunny rectangle, wrung now with careless

... Psyche-Hobo. Fading
into his dream. Who? Someone hidden
in the river. The royal river (Jordan,
maybe – River J). Waiting, waiting (shade-

lady) for him to come wading (rheumy
sailor-man). Back, back... into infinite ripples
of enfolded life. Forsworn, foregone. Simple
correspondences, unanswered mail... runes

of mutual affection, broken symmetry.
O diffident Ulysses, cloaked in worn accidia!
Old derelict, old wasted garden, ancient,
hideous old pirate! What sweet ceremony

could ever ease you from such decrepitude?
Your lot lies with the old salts now
. Time
quicklimes the spendthrift dead, whose crime
is too much rancid sleep. You're rude,

he mumbles in his drowse, shifting his face
to the wall. A creamy limestone light played
in the shadows of the blinds – rayed
across his gimp leg with a wistful grace.