by Armand Schwerner

Curated by Adam Schwerner and Michael Heller


. .



whenever I finally get to withdraw
from one more greeting or smiles like teeth
I'm surrounded by member of a faculty
meeting at a faculty meeting, discussing
music programming for mutes or buildings and grounds,
from which I withdraw
setting up what's needed, what should be done.
There's this tiny ant on my notetaking paper
covered by my doodles of macrocephalic gym teachers.
I keep her to myself.
                                  She is small
and quick, moving
just for me. Her tiny closeness
unnerves me I'm concentrating on her so, as
during the exercises with the flag
on Monday morning assemblies
I imagine famished bloodworms at work on the red stripes,
appeasing their appetites slightly
to prepare for a sacred feast
during the reading of monotheistic messages.
help out; without their gentle favors
I can just see myself
helplessly drained,
a sphincter problem, what the school nurse calls
"a bowel movement, my boy," that's what she
calls me, me
with my untrimmed beard and poor-genteel appeal in her chlorophorm den.
There's this aunt
around which I draw inky circles
establishing a little order. I need some too.
And certainly this dumb bug does, innocent
of direction, of all places to crawl
she chooses this faculty table surrounded by members of a faculty
meeting at a faculty meeting.
the circle stops her at three points of the periphery
and she starts
again. No circles
stop her for good. Angry,
I pull my colleague's chair, he
teaches History. He says, "The history
of music, the history
of buildings and grounds." I draw a treble clef
around the frantic beast on my notetaking paper. No clefs
stop her. I surround her,
I surround her by musical staves. I
go further, I thicken my circles, I make rectangles,
I use red ink, I tear the paper, I
am careless in this search for order,
she will run off the paper
the headmaster will see her
and make her stay after school to read Job, I
am careless, I break her front leg
with my pen. I cry out. My colleague
says, "The music of buildings. The history of grounds."


Copyright © 2004 by Adam Schwerner and Michael Heller

Sources and Credits:

Seaweed by Armand Schwerner
Black Sparow Press
Los Angeles, 1969
Copyright © 1969 by Armand Schwerner

Michael Heller, Conservator of the Literary Estate of Armand Schwerner;
and Adam Schwerner.