Sean Bentley

Outside Is as Usual

rain punctuates the dangling
air and displays
its one wet ware
down fence and gutterpipe

symbols are showing
from the sodden earth peppered
with artifacts of men and elements
the symbols are green

I sip hot coffee with whiskey
the world is fluid and not
fluid and the mind
is thought and not thought

across the tablecloth
so small it is only a motion
a worm crawls
the next time I look
it has vanished into
the threaded confusions of cloth
or back into imagination
are we searching for something
or not

bound and bounded by
an inarguable bubble
of awareness

I return to myself
become a worm and at once
the cloth the rain and earth
the fluid world and its extrapolations

it cannot be helped
so a certain victory
must be seen in the documentary

let the words stand
the rain
a small worm gone now on his own
perhaps futile

Copyright 1996, Sean Bentley

Sean Bentley's chapbook, Grace and Desolation, has recently been issued
by Cune Press. His two previous books are Into the Bright Oasis
(Jawbone, aka Brooding Heron, 1976) and Instances (Confluence Press,
1979). His work has also appeared in three anthologies--Iron
(Copper Canyon, 1978), Island of Rivers (National Park
Service, 1988), Intro 6 (Doubleday, 1974)--and close to 80 other
publications. For twelve years, Sean hascoedited Fine Madness. He
conducts a secret life as a senior editor for documentation at Microsoft Corporation.