Veiled Absentee

by Nathaniel Tarn

Is he from Babylon, or perhaps Sumer, or
from far beyond that, the Paleolithic ? Who
will ever guarantee provenance ? He walks
through forests, never sees a tree. He walks
through women, seeing no woman. Plethys
mographs are favorites with him though he
registers nothing. A zillion year old star
would write a great deal more beyond its light.
Eats live birds in his sleep. Does not sleep sleep:
it is too onerous. And dreams are not his forte
either: his is eternal wakefulness. Cities you’d
think he would like cities, or cities’ contents:
streets, galleries, museums. He’s never seen
a painting he didn’t like no one is sure he
ever saw a painting come to that. He mouths
for the sake of talking, never of saying: he has
nothing to say at any time though he sure talks
an awful lot. His reputation grows by decades.
He is well known for hosts of things no one can
quite remember. He’s won innumerable awards,
prizes, remunerations. Member of everything.
What sadness ! Sadness of loving someone with
all the love of many, many years someone who
no, not only fails to answer but is not even there.