Joseph Spece



After Square's Parasite Eve.


Skertch-wetch goes the footfall
on floor 71

As it has sounded    Skertch-wetch
    in the snow
    for seven days

So! This is New York

In my dreams
it was more imperious

yes, it was poetic

it had a man
with sterling thoughts in him

and the crocodiles
moved about the boulevards
with impunity

clicking their electric teeth

Instead, instead, this is New York
this ten-legged abdomen vista
dipping its tines in bright paint

aping a spider’s reserve

sketching and sketching again the mirrors by which
it will know itself

Why, it refuses to recognize even the River
as boundary

it must send its stench far as smelling can reach

I do not believe a green statue
would raise her torch to salute it, no

& now I am beginning to think


How is it that chrysanthemums
frill themselves
in front of the wide darkness


& Who was I when the sedan whipped me in spirals and my little ringlets

Who was I laid on a table fully clothed, hot
but without a pillow to rest me

& was it me on the bottom floors of the hospital
running about and giggling taking the elevator up and down,
Crash went the stairwell was it me, Skertch-wetch is it me

upsetting the vials of sperm
at once taking the glass banister on floor 76 and crouched wet in a pod

If I were to emerge my vertebrae would crackle and lengthen I
would stand straight up and my little dress would be quite dry was it me
on the hospital roof putting on the spinnerets

Was it me singing alone on a stage in Central Park, hot, is it the rat—
am I still a crab circling in the warehouse was it me, ponderous, hot,
leaking the acid spittle

is it me humming this sudden plangent tune is it me and am I
am I sad? No. Yes.



I seek to be recommended

by your approaching centigrade




knock at my nest now

and again Now

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