I woke and lay
in my tent
watching spiders march across the mosquito netting above me.
The day was cold and already loud
and the spiders went in a peaceful syncopation.
some crossed from one side, some stopping in the middle
to look around and about face.
Then four met near the center
and i did not know what they were doing
until i sat up and saw a fly's vermilion eye
bouncing between them
and I knew that they were playing foursquare when it bounced away
the four spiders all changed places.
Then I walked to the laundromat.
I rolled from my bunk in the fo'c's'le
into the rain to lean agains the sternrail,
peeing lucky charms into the pockmarked ocean.
I felt then that
though I may be so few things,
as least i am no phony
then, as if to drink while wizzing
as if to die in childbirth
and cry until i laughed
or laugh until i cried
or as if to soak my hands dry
or shout myself hoarse
I spoke williams in a half-consciousness like a horse
or the nominal darkness of zero dark thirty
"these are the desolate, dark weeks'
I said, peeing,
'in which nature,
in all its barenness
equals the stupidity of man'