Coeolanth blues


This morning I am going out and not coming

back until I have seen the birds that make all that noise

no—it really is noise, not your gentle chirping and swaggering song, but sure enough noise, deep clanging of medieval iron chains dragging them-

selves across marble floors in some old ruin is what it sounds

like to me, or it could be a tramp

steamer out of an old Conrad

novel, scene of personal failure then a struggle for redemption that

fails in the end,

my only clue to the

birdshit is what I hear

deep in the cursed shadows of

endless nights on striped

sheets still warm from the

sun that bakes my bed every

afternoon, or the sound could be an echo

of the blue Gulf whanging like the bell of doom, the shells

of urchins—no, crabs, those big ones that look pre-Cam-

brian, like that ancient fish they pulled out of the boiling sea off the

coast of Madagascar when I was a kid & showed pictures of in all the papers—

Coeolanth—that’s what the sound looks like, one ugly fish. In fact

that’s what the sound sounds like, if you work at it ko-eow

lanth, koeoLANTH, like that, dragging, worse and worse.


I may never come back.

don’t bother to wait up

take a Donormyl and

get a good night’s sleep

kO—eeo

LANTH again

and agai

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