the philosopher

from by peter j hochstedler



i was unmanned when the hurricane
came off the sea and into my brain.
the philosopher, she was bloodless;
she had her fist in my crevice

close your eyes, it's a shitshow!
we got limbless cats prancing in calico,
half-naked men in the harbor
swilling cheap beer, grilling a crow.

the town was laid out on the bedsheets,
we were carefree in our shipfleet.
the philosopher, she came angry,
laid her ruined arms next to me.

and in the morning hour i was wrapped in sails.
she was writing proofs by the bedrails.
and the hospital was a carnival
and we made love with two-faced animals.

then a violent wind passed between us!
brought down the ferris wheel and the tilt-a-whirl.
it was capital! all the crumbles
of the strong-man with his limbs unfurled

then the water broke
and she was down
the philosopher started to scream,
said, "i set it up!
this whole kitschy show!
just close your eyes with me!"

it unmasted me, the hurricane
in a basinet with a bulbous brain,
and i wove some reeds smeared in bitumen,
pushed the infant out down the seine.

close your eyes! it's a shitshow!
we got lions out roaming the rodeo!
half naked men in the harbor
reading the collected works of cicero!

and her water broke
and we were drowned.
the philosopher started to scream,
said, "i set it up!
this whole garrish show!
just close your eyes and see!"

a child could have knocked me down
if a child would have wanted to,
but darling i was that child
and baby so were you.

with a bulbous brain
and a flimsy frame
and the feathered crest
of a cockatoo!


from critters, released October 17, 2010
with angela willson singing along




peter j hochstedler South Bend, Indiana

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