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Hudson Plumb 

Seymour’s Fat Lady in New York


“There isn't anyone anywhere who isn't Seymour's Fat Lady. Don't you know that?” 
                                                                       ― J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

I bet she looked like you

    her veiny legs bulging like Popeye's arms

her feet overflowing her shoes like pudding

     but you have no shoes

   just plastic bags wrapped around a sock

and a shopping cart full of aluminum cans

manic monologuer

you dance the rhumba on Fifth Avenue

    pillage green garbage bags at night

    outside Park Avenue awnings

afternoons you splay out like an inverse Y

   on the sidewalk

sucking Thunderbird

    or stuffing a Danish

I see you camped out in a concrete cul-de-sac

   watching a television wired

      to the corner lamp

the balding executives walk by

    and admire your full head of hair


you notice a sound

but then suddenly present—

or an infant’s cry,

and elsewhere the sensation of breathing,

expanding and contracting,

like Plato’s cave people

and thinking they were everything,

splashed black on a wall—

special names, special stories

and how they acquired names,

and what they meant,

quietly comforting,

except for the nagging thought

about something hidden,

something buried in the mind,

something not really there at all

you notice a movie

of your eyelids

a screen that is dark, but not fully dark—

you watch your thoughts pass like clouds,

some of them gathering,

until all at once

from the beginning—

in the sky of the mind

in the sky of the mind

in the sky of the mind

as if it were prior

the distant report of a car alarm,

or a thin, ringing whine in one ear,

the tingling of tissues moving,

as you experience them but can’t be sure,

watching shadows on a wall

everything—the entire universe

and giving the shadows names,

about the histories of the shadows

and where they came from,

and finding those stories

quietly mesmerizing,

that appears in the mind

something imagined,

something not on the wall,

in the sky of the mind

projecting against the curtain

against the shimmering darkness—

and against this screen

some of them darkening,

some of them circling,

you begin again—

in the sky of the mind,

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