Where once I loved my flesh,
That social fellow,
Now I want security of bone
And cherish the silence of my skeleton.
Where once I walked the world
Hunting the devil,
Now I find the darkness and the void
Within my side.
First to be good, then to be happy I
Worked and prayed.
Before the midnight, like the foul fiend,
I killed my dear friend.
Hope unto hope, dream beyond monstrous dream
I sought the world.
Now, at the black pitch and midnight of despair,
I find it was always here.
Thomas McGrath, “The Progress of the Soul” from The Movie at the End of the World: Collected Poems, published by Swallow Press/Ohio University Press. Copyright © 1972 by Thomas McGrath. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.
Source: The Movie at the End of the World: Collected Poems
(Swallow Press, 1972)