James Harrison (December 11, 1937 – March 26, 2016)
Coming out of anesthesia I believed
I had awakened in the wrong body,
and when I returned to my snazzy hotel room
and looked at Architectural Digest
I no longer recognized large parts of the world.
There was a cabin for sale
for seven million dollars, while mine had cost
only forty grand with forty acres. An android
from drugs I understood finally that life
works to no one’s advantage. From dawn
until midnight I put together a jigsaw puzzle
made of ten million pieces of white confetti.
On television I watch the overburdened world
of books and movies, all flickering trash, while outside
cars pass through deep puddles on the street,
the swish and swash of life, patterns of rain
drizzle on the windows, finch yodel and Mexican raven squawk
until I enter the murder of sleep and fresh demons,
one of whom sings in basso profundo Mickey and Sylvia’s
“Love is Strange.” In the bathroom mirror it’s someone else.