The Penultimate Curtain Call


1. I stroll the towpath along the river and search for the horses to budge my barge forward ahead boats bob on the waves behind me the morning mist obscures my view because of it the past cannot infiltrate the present Time dies without spectators nothing happens unless it is seen or endures water laps at my feet I remove socks and shoes begin to wade in darkened depths the ghost of Virginia Woolf circles me straining to dislodge the rocks in her pockets 2. Emptiness of existence drives the artist to despair only the visionary can detect outlines of the world to come filling the hollows of this kaleidoscopic orb to create is an apotheosis the painting reveals the skeleton of the world bone connected to sinew to muscle to mental effort the poet calls forth what is not yet silver objects still attached to the very breath of his calling spirit suffused in flesh 3. Horses’ breath dissipates into blue-gray clouds like attracts like I whisper the horses’ names but none answers back the denouement of alienation the penultimate curtain call loneliness edges the lover toward doubt of his isolated self to become what one is remains the task of a lifetime but who knows oneself well enough to read the features of success and still the horses pull and still I push forward


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