even his past held him.
skin a silvery thing unknown before,
as water: never free
ever becoming so. He prophesied
harsh, luminous, here-of-the-flesh signs,
possible and the new; his lashed escapes
hope to men alleyed in rain
frozen trash. How is there hurt in that?
lie that comforts is no less savage for it.
worked old forms: rust-bit fetters not his own,
links, drab trunk-tricks bought at bargain.
himself when shut in dark cabs, railcars,
the granite hinge of lidded tradition--
the strange unmoored cast and drift of words
and struggle held him fast; he knew all
are false escapes and a work is roped
its past. Now men strut and mock him for it.
claim he lived too close to chains to find
dark hasped clench or lurch of a locked art,
drag back the bolt, and not be terrified.
there is sense in that. True freedom burns.
cable, rope, cuffs, like electric light
aeroplanes he linked and forged the age,
learned his low opinion of mankind
men to chains.
will now saw himself in half.