24 from GLARE by A.R. Ammons

I am so ill-stanchioned myself, you
know, just me, that I can’t get on

without like, going to work, getting
away from myself into the affairs

of others, the elevator slowing and
catching still on the remnants of

old floors, plunging easing up: I’m
always hungry for compliments, anything

to bolster me lofty: I consume compliments
like bricks tossed into a black hole

for bottom, a solid floor,
but it all oozes away, undermined

by an oily, massive slip: I
should go in the brick business: I

might help myself out a little: I
should throw chunks of old foundation

in there, the steel rods ciliating
concrete: a few bales of ginned

cotton, absorbencies: a couple of
barrels of sticky-wicky: some jungle

temples: a ridge off the top of the
Rockies: that little peninsula that

reaches out from–oh, well: sub-
continent? where there is no love

nothing will take root: the hollow
will not fill: earth’s walkabout

will not arise: steps leading up
will not surprise: dreams will

not fog off the higher elevations of
ascension: what is left, after love,

to live with? anger, guilt, anxiety:
I speak not just of the loves of

thighs but of the love of another
more, say, than of oneself: there

are those whom to lose soaks direction
out of the tree boughs, prevents

snow from settling in the granite
crevices, makes daylight an odd

visitor: the stanchions give in,
wither like sea oates in a hurricane:

and then all the world cannot fill
the hole which becomes a trillion

miles of nothing

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