Si is a carpenter in 1882. Si is anything but a carpenter
when hard hands fasten his soft-felt bowler hat,
and now he is Winslow Homer. He is anyone but Winslow Homer
and so Winslow orders a drink to feel more like himself.
The Brooklyn Bridge is his workplace. His workplace is anything but the Bridge
because he is the most famous artist in the U.S. of A.
and his sweat stains – not of that cold skeletal thing! – perhaps the image
of a shecreature sitting staring staring, and
Yes, staring at Winslow. She is staring at anything but Winslow
so he orders a whiskey. (She continues careless stare;
maybe she is rather dumb?) And so
he orders another whiskey, and another, until
She absolutely stares at him, as far as staring goes.
His everystep is an ultrastruggle dysconsciously attracted to her despite
dawnsandmulberries being crushed by crowded goats
and megaunorganized pleasuredrives to tow the line
Between her and he; and he is close now, but – or maybe it was not
somewhere down the line where
shoulder to shoulder, tattooed butterflies never fought –
the shecreature waited patiently, as if the line
Is an endlessly expanding universe in decline
of a Darwinian social contract written
from calloused fingers, like a disengaged psittacine
or something horny, like a polyester rose
(But he is Winslow Homer, and he longs to go to her, so he does) –
and so he orders another whiskey,
and one for her if she’ll recognize it,
and she laughs and proposes that he sit.
He knows it is enough. He is Winslow Homer:
he is he as an end and not a means to a meaningless he
and in the end he can possess anything he desires.
And he waits for her to take him by the waist, to end the anxiety that
Continues to transmogrify and doubleandtripletransmogrify
at every bowelfull point. But instead she stares, her lessthanhalfull smile
tempting him to speak, so he does. At least, he tries
to but it’s then he knows that language has left,
Language has gone to feed on arable land. “I am Winslow Homer.”
“I am a great painter.”
“I have a lot of money.”
“I do not have a lot of money.”
Silence stills him, and he loves her. He really does.
But he absolutely cannot communicate it. And all she does is know.
“All is lovely outside my house and inside my house and myself.”
She doesn’t really know, and Winslow almost knows
she doesn’t really know. “I am Si. I am a carpenter.”
She gets up, and Winslow finishes her drink and gets up too
But not before dreaming that he was a carpenter
sweating atop the Brooklyn Bridge, spilling off,
forever slighted like an unspeaking specter
to silentscream be side those fleshfill goats.