Then again, if I were feeling clever,
         even sitting square in my chair,
         feet on the—Then again,
         if I wanted to practice and sharpen
         the knife, sharpen my pencil,
         well, there is more than one way to say so—
         Then again, I was young once too!
         Now I simply wave my hand if I need to,
         turn the chair to face the window.
         I come home dancing up
         the stairs in my hall and even then
         the music is mine. There’s the door—
         Oh, are you inside?

         Pardon me, let me show you around.
         The shower here, clumsy kitchen—all
         the makings of a life headed toward
         something. Something.
         How many lifetimes piling up!
         The papers and statues—Mercury too, swinging around
         in vain, a curtain pulled back again. Here
         we go again, everything in boxes—Ashbery
         Wilbur and Bishop—here. The wood,
         the metal, even the plastic of toys—
         Here, hold this.

         Sharpening! Another pencil
         wearing down to a stub. Another year in tow,
         the tub built in, a new rocking chair.
         Back on the shelves, Americans and free—
         the finest and most varied talents assembled.
         Here a lost opera, here slippers. Then again
         and again and again. Window screens, more
         hallways passing faster.
         Do they say a run of stairs?
         A flight, a case, more travel. Eager to keep on
         to get going. Not again!

         Back in my chair, feet to the floor.
         My ear, my imperfect pitch—
         then again, said differently, I could
         learn to love it! So,
         one two three four five six walls, doors, back down
         the halls—Ah the streets.
         Let me wander the way I do. If I were
         adventuresome, oh but does that matter?
         I walk down this street remembering
         what I can. The whole city is a rant.
         Well, we were all children once!
         That way—oh tumbling away, follow—follow it!

         <      >