SPEECH RECITED IN MIDAIR
Bring hoops and calibrated instruments,
Bring scissors and rocks, lash guy-ropes to a stake,
Fetch the axe from the chopping-block
And run, polish your dials and quivering gauges,
Search for the wires, sandpaper fingerprints
Till you can feel the impact of a speck
Or focus like hawks upon invisible dew:
O holy neighbors, O impeccable judges,
I lie in the air, flat out and unsupported.
Trundle your ladders into the long grass
And shinny upward to inspect my foot-soles,
Come bandy-legged on your stilts and point
Forefingers while you preach me out of grace,
Send up your rockets: they'll explode like daisies
Or loop the loop and dive down on your heads
Still I'll remain, more permanent than a moon,
A lamp without a pole, kite hooked on nothing,
Your broken cables flattering me like tassels.
Toenails and loincloths fluting in the wind,
Supine, the fakirs flew from city to city,
And Persian rugs, obedient to a wish,
Once hoisted every chubby shah's behind,
Hindus went up a rope, and virgins floated,
Pure levitation spirited D. D. Home
Across a ceiling, over a window-sash,
And sent him straight outdoors without a broom:
Why should amazement rankle your smooth faces?
Weep if you must, or slice the air in two!
I'm clamped forever between public places -
Important dirt, investigated sky -
Offending both till time sags in the middle,
Ignoring gravity, smelling to high heaven,
An unavoidable eyesore thrust askew
Between God's thunder and your furious babble
Into a sphere where even freaks are shriven.
Once pull me down, you split all history.