& I was poorest, perched over the Bowery
eating a can of soup a day?
I walked until I was lost, striving for that,
a discarded standup piano, missing its ivory
no worse than the bagged elephant,
a satin pump, with the stain of a slender foot
within, the wintergreen scent of crack smoke
from the shadows, nothing on the wing;
everything was terrestrial, mortal,
the vast accumulation of details like data
inconclusive & indivisible, the vitamins
of Avenues A & C, buoyed along
on anonymity, singularity, conversant
with spontaneity, gaiety, a citizen
of this city, complicity, electricity
sending its spark through my young limbs.
Like those at the foot of an active volcano
gain identity from its fulminating core,
I recited lines I strove to learn aloud
and louder on the louder streets,
fulcrum and funnel, pupil of the vast eye.