In the old days I went through life
in the grip of a tragic love and cherishing
a little leaflet of quartz
and I nailed life down with my eyes.
I shopped for generosity, walked
in the market of greed, inhaled
the most secret fumes of envy , the inhuman
hostility of masks and men.
I lived a world of everglades
where the sudden flower, the madonna lily
devoured me in her shivering foam
and wherever I set my foot my soul sideslipped
into the jaws of death.
This is the way my poetry was born-no sooner than
redeemed from nettles, won
out of solitude like a punishment,
or how it set apart its most mysterious flower
in the brazen garden, as if to bury it.
Locked out this way like the dark waters
that lived in deep channels
I ran this way and that seeking the solitude
of every being, the daily hatefulness.
I knew that they thrived by drowning
half human like fish
in the most foreign seas, and in the hugeness of the
vasty deep I met with death.
Death opening doors and paths.
Death slithering over walls.