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2003-01-26

Hieronymus Bosch (b. Jeroen van Aken)
B. c. 1453 s’-Hertogenbosch, Holland / D. 8.9.1516 's-Hertogenbosch
Plague

My potty-training phase.
Something must have happened.
Me, God and the potty-training phase.
Archaic landscape with two figures and a pit.
God, the potty-training phase and I:
subject of catechism.
I must have been damaged in the potty-training phase.
What other explanation for the way I strain to string twelve
words together in a line. . .and those not daily.
God damaged me.
Why else my hoarding, my refusal to favor the world with my fullness.
(The once-friendly porcelain, window and wall in collusion, falling away.)
Cut me open: I’m nothing but Nuh-uh Not Yet.
With a father’s shout: a shout, a spank, a stomp or an impatient storming
or several
or a hundred
he must have let go;
I always choose the tiniest fonts.
God did damage to me in the potty-training phase.
Ask me: Have I never forgiven? Off comes the lid.
Down in the pit the demons start rushing the ladder:
participles adjectives verb forms of every description
seethe up the ladder whose top rungs sway in the space between “damage” and “did”
and here they come:
Immeasurable, a mouth in its belly
Dire, which leaves a trail of broken clocks
Irrevocable, four feet, no hands
Senseless, with a hoop for a head
The Usual, riding a scythe like a hobbyhorse.

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