Amon Liner

Another Ego and Its Own

Sensuous cardboard multiples
of the human form pop up
from the ragged bushes on the firing range;
my submachine gun is my best defense
against direct, elementary language.
The forms fall down when you punch holes in them,
weaving forward in a fighter’s crouch;
I go mad, my heart beats like a savage
aristocrat at its cage, my face goes white,
I wonder what unknown form of beauty
would stand up if something went wrong
and somebody were real?
At the end of the range, I flop
and have a beer. I’m only a visitor;
I’m allowed a kind of distancing fellowship.
I wish I could stay forever, forever
be reloaded and cutting the scrappy
average human forms to the heart,
the big green heart. How else 
can I fend off these friendly vocabularies
walking toward me? These good fellows,
these walking encyclopedias, they know
all about me, they know my name.
What hand-gun or semi-portable projector
of flame can I use to defend
my small and unfriendly self?
Direct, elementary language
abounds, thick as weeds. Enemies
are everywhere. They know
my name. I wish I could stay outside 
the realm of heart to heart talk forever.
Here’s one of them now. Listen to his
green and terrible audacity, “I see 
you had a good time out there, George.”
How can anyone know so much 
about my silence? There are human forms
everywhere. They know my name.
Some of them have made a mistake
and are real.