Wednesday, May 30, 2012

having a Patchen sort of day


Feeling chilled in that cold country
and having no fuel at all to light a fire
this deliberate man assailed his own shell with flame
and as he stood there, burning––
shivering men passed, muttering "He is a great fool"
but he answered them quietly, saying
"I am warm now and it shall never again be dark"

Dying, he turned his face from death
and there were commemorative cities built and destroyed
on the spot where the man himself had never stood

-Kenneth Patchen, from First Will & Testament (1939)

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