Sunday afternoon at Camp Restall

I feel alone in the dining hall.

The weight
of the rain
does not depress me
neither would the sun;

it is something else.

Fresh air and pine trees
my reality into my
field of vision

The attraction distraction of the city
is not awaiting round an imitation stone corner
I am left
with myself
at Camp Restall.

I am alone in the windowed room full of noise.

It’s a big room
and I can hear
the slow pronunciation

of two
patiently striving to speak each other’s language

a guitar
with its player and listening

there are the game-players
concentrated and concentrating

I am here
writing this
because before
no one joined my solitaire

so I put the cards out of reach
on the table.

Backgammon and cribbage sit there
by they are out too

games can only soak up a limit of loneliness.

My book is at home
and if I could

I would take out its bookmark

and read

I left it there consciously
in hope of
a distillation of thoughts;

my becoming constructive

I build with my pen
and my artistry
is invisibly pinned

on my proud chest
that incorrigibly feels not uncommon.

It is my answer to being alive
at Camp Restall.

Flickers of energy wish to
propel me about
send me rooting cookies in the kitchen

have me do anything

they pass far too swift
I want to burst out of this protective laziness
but they are too quick.

I realize my slow death
but it hasn’t slowed it down.

-1983/07/31 Sunday-


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