Gary Sullivan

Dear Nada,

           we are the golden eternity in mortal animate form
           & so desire love, abandoned

           would condemn us. There is no elevator
           in that shaft, the wind howls
           in the stairwell, someone left the front door open

           I regain consciousness slowly. To drink I
                                          must bow
                                          before you
                                          or drink
                                          until I fall
           down, o the thin hair in the small of your back.
           As if the mind were a poem (it isn't) & as useless

           as the concept of eternity. Rome apple. Summer
           squash. Jewish rye. Thank you
           o thank you iced window, lights

           twinkling in perturbed atmosphere
           "occasional ugliness" "nobility" "earthly mould"

           I'd love anyone who'd call the sky shredded
           who'd call to tell me that much. I'm here
           now, why haven't you
           called me tonight?
                              The wind comes up

           as though balancing on two legs.
                                            I want
           to say more, say
           broke my neck, a dead crane, a
           failure. There are three matches left in this book.
           I read. Leonardo da Vinci's earliest memory was
           he was lying in his cradle when a vulture came down
           & "opened my mouth with its tail, struck
           me many times with its tail against my lips."
           Freud dismissed it as fantasy.

                                          Whatever rips
           the mind apart survives, keeps us
           if not sane, aroused.
                                 My hair is not exactly kempt.
           Earlier, I beat off looking at the photos
           you sent.
                     Am I supposed
                     to make a joke of it? It's Martin Luther
                                                today, he'd be 70
                                                          O, no
           I've run out of money. When I
           beat off, I did try to imagine it was you
           but I still need to know
           a lot of things, though
           as long as fate permits, I'll go
           on beating off.
                           I have no political conscience

           it's too cold, the radiator's pitiless
           & so's romance. Sorry, not my
           heart requited by the fact of its own existence. If I
           could stumble back out this door, beneath
           the jet trails' frozen thick scalloped edges
           or the work of the day drilled into asphalt
           well, probably I would, but probably
                                                I'll just lay
           my head down on the pillow
           yellow & stained, love
                                  "the only subject, the rest
           requiring form,"