"I want to figure out what my work is about,"
someone said to me today, calling from the
Staten Island Ferry.
"This is your problem," I tell her, meaning
the boat, which is the joke that any New Yorker
would have made.
I forget to tell her that
the work will tell you what it is about.
there are times when
the books I collect begin to
glare at me from the shelves.
They jam their fonty fingers accusingly
into my sides, and complain.
And I turn to them, shouting:
"What more do you want?" and
"You did this to me!"
This is when they are their quietest.
Eyes or ears or nose or palm of hand,
sometimes you don't taste the fuel
as you swallow it.
I say: keep the flame low,
and hide it from the wind.