Treatment Milieu, 1965
Jim Grover peers like some small creature through
his dim glass eyes out of the little thicket
of his beard, his sitting down is gentle,
in his paper cup two pills click one
Pretty face unhearing
Pam sports beauty ably, bores her lips
through flesh that forests all about and seeks
some boundary to her mind.
Tall Barker is
a scarecrow built to boo away our ex-
pectations, stuffing hay into his stomach
weaving, leaps like SuperBoy into
his painting right above the frightened faces
borne by winds he knows by name.
him Hunter eyes his private sky, broad
will tent his bulk again above him pitched
against the sharp unhearing headless words
that rain from no gods down.
In still another
space flies Johnson high from taut thin kitestrings
of his nerves and snips himself apart
I sit and breath the quiet used
and public air.
Amove, her teeth aspread
with smile, tired Ethel hefts her body great
loose sack of flour from bed to chair -- each
support she overlaps with fat surrender
and a wish to kill.
Our Sandie, baby
warm and sleepy peeps with bunny ears
that flick in apprehension sits and deeply
feeds on smoke.
like a nettle is discouraging
Sunlight stumbles thickly on
the window sill and spills itself across
the floor and lies unmoving. Tony walks
across it, gathers fragments to remake
his lost connections, facts like grapes he plucks
from people's vines his bucket has no bottom;
watching, Betty weary wife stops
and lifts her lip to let a tremulous
thin worm of smoke slip out; her bony arms
conspire with neck to hold up head.
we share, he rages darkly from his cave
and runs a redness through us like the news
The flowers grow like Hell. The nurses
step about use words in lieu of their
white suits, while down the hall two doctors hold
a book like some old friend just found between them.