One from the House of Bedlam

Posted: March 4, 1992 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

this is the box that the spider came in.

here is the molt
of the mad spider
who came in this box.

this is the rock
from the cage where I kept
the spider, who was mad
and wouldn’t bark
after he left the white box that he came in.

these are the pictures I took of the box
that the batty spider came in
before I found that it was not him
who barked.

I am the boy who also came in the box
with such a grizzly spider,
put was not put in a cage
with a grey rock and a clock.

this is what happens to the crickets
that my spider hunts around the rock
by the light of that ridiculous clock.

this is Ezra Pound; a sailor, a spider,
who winds the clock in the closet of crickets.

here is the ward
where the mad spider and I are,
full of wind and white sheets and flat paper hats
and a rock.

here is the boy that bought the box
and found the rock for Ezra Pound,
that mad grizzly spider who wore a paper hat,
who gave it to me for the molt
that lies in the House of Bedlam.

this is the box,
the House of Bedlam,
where the spider molted even though he
was supposed to be hunting by the light of the clock
that Ezra wound.

I am the clock that tells the time
that the closet crickets die in the white box
– the cage in the House of Bedlam.

these are the legs of the mad molted spider
who ran around the rock in the white windy ward
of the house of the box with a paper hat.

this is the picture of grizzly me,
the boy Ezra and that deadly spider
who still wouldn’t bark after returning
to the House of Bedlam.

here is the box that is all that is left
of the boy, the spider,
Ezra and me.

[based on a poem by Elizabeth Bishop]

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