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Earth Ocean


- to Giorgio de Chirico


I built a house in the middle of the ocean

Its windows rivers streaming from my eyes

Octopuses storm the walls we hold onto

Hear their triple hearts beat beaks rattle the panes

                           Sodden house

                           House on fire

                           Quick season

                           Season of song

              The planes are dropping eggs

              Mind the anchor that one swings

Mind the inkjet that one squirts

A good thing you've come from the sky

The earthbound octopuses are trembling

And we're nothing but clever gravediggers

Pale octopuses of chalk seas pale-beaked octopuses

You can tell there's an ocean round this house

It never sleeps


From Brando's Hat No 2 (Summer 1998). Translated by Steven Waling.