Ecce Monstro

Als das Kind Kind war,
war es die Zeit der folgenden Fragen:
Warum bin ich ich und warum nicht du?
— Peter Handke, “Lied Vom Kindsein”

i

Began like pu, the uncarved block in a strange land.
Simulacrum, wood golem knocking about, dreaming of flesh.
Lies, truths, growths, recede and wonder what it is to be:

D’où Venons Nous
Que Sommes Nous
Où Allons Nous

Woher kommen wir
Wer sind wir
Wohin gehen wir

Where Do We Come From?
What Are We?
Where Are We Going?

How long have I got?

Father never answers. Why he is surprised when I bolt,
A prodigal arrow, into
The world, I can only suspect, among gears and puppets.


ii

Wander the world.

I saw a boy herding ox.

I saw a dog dropping bones in the water, barking for more.
I saw a bathing woman with a beggar on a crutch of wood.

I saw a wretch with a dead albatross envy archers
Whose arrows were beyond them.

I may have seen a fleeting vanity fair, some carnival of souls.
I saw a Hmong orphan calling Naga kings from the riverbank,
Expecting nothing.


iii

Maw like Leviathan, peer of Melville’s albino,
Abyssal gaze returned.
Within your belly like a worm,
After a lifetime of fighting, how

I’ve become like you,
Adrift

In the sea, Jonah, a leaf,
While the boy next to me has become a jackass.
And yet I still wish and yearn,
Dionysian, a destiny, if not a dynasty.