To Błażej Krukowski

Cappelbaum is in the living room
staring at the machine that makes words

his thoughts are the falling snow outside

"the way we're going I shall surely drown
thinks Cappelbaum
                            his mind now telescoped

like this he starts
like thi  s  e            starts

                        you're in a kitchen
                        with a woman
                        whose tone you're
                        having trouble

will she
  a) pour hot porridge on your head
      porridge not potpourri
      head not had
      pour and
      wash            out the sticky substance of shame

  b) break a violin bow on your back
      as you think
                        In the town where I was born
      as you think about horsehair
                        Lived a man who sailed to sea
      as you think of the smell of rosin
                        And he told us of his life
                                                     with a crack
                        In the land of submarines
      & off to bed
      & off to bed

  c) throw a knife at your father
      & hit you in the ankle
      such a tender flower

                                    she of the epithets
                                    she of the buzzing hive
          her flashing eyes
          her floating hair
          weave a circle round her thrice
                                                        for all you care

she so fragile
she so commanding
she o captain my captain my captain
                                                        "the devil is
                                                        in the details
                             thinks Cappelbaum

as he feeds himself
                             St. Joan's wort
                             poison ivy
                             potassium carbonate
                             mastication of ears

   the stack of sheets dwindles