The Parisians hated the watery rice,
Lack of wine, civilized amenities;
The marshes were stinking sinkholes;
The muddy fields execrable abominations.
They have friends, they said,
Who would gladly replace them with statues and fountains.
‘And you, my good man,’ they said to me,
‘are a depraved rustic, a semi literate bumpkin.’
Which is true.
Then they smoked opium and entered a trance.
I dug a new drainage ditch and composed six poems.
Upon awaking they snorted cocaine
And fondled one another’s genitals.
Afterwards they left in a railway car
Painted with scenes of ancient cathedrals.
I still love Marcel Proust and Charles Baudelaire,
But can find no solace in semiotics or hyper intellection.
They left behind four thousand books, which,
In an inquisitorial mood, I tossed into the fire.
Now the cabin is warm as toast
And in the mists above the dugout my visitor’s ghosts
Are suspended in a passion of disbelief and weeping.
The next day I leapt through my left earlobe
And came out the other side processed in stainless steel.
I lay upon a bed of nitrogen
Covering myself with plutonium rods.
Of course my earrings were of human flesh but no matter.
And yet when I looked through my enhanced eyeballs
I saw the world exactly as I saw it before!
All that and still rolling in the human bubble!
All that and my nose still exactly eighty-seven degrees from my left eye socket!