Alan Michael Parker

The God of Lint, Delivered

Obscure, relieved, no longer
Chastened by the others,

In a sandwich shop near Wembley
The God of Lint collects himself,

Tries to concentrate, watches as
His shaking hands

Pop the top of a ChocoDrink,
Then crack the spine of Mill's On Liberty:

"Strong impulses are but another name
For energy." Energy?

The God of Lint has none:
He has seen the end, the underbelly, the poor

Becoming more, beside themselves;
He has wandered in the tenements,

The halls of commerce, the museums,
Always just

Another tourist, his mind a camera.
What sayeth Mill? "One whose desires and impulses

Are not his own, has no character…."
Right, he thinks. That's right. Here's to me.

But O, what jot of hope
Can see the soul through all its burnings,

As in that moment, lives ago,
On the bus to York, out the window

As they leaned into the roundabout
And he dreamed himself

A tornado…
And woke to find the sky

A spinning mass of vapor.
That was something more than

Being loved by strangers,
Minions with their personal ambitions.

Wasn't that just…?
He stands, the palsy gone:

He almost finishes his drink,
One hand on the straw, another

Sliding Mr. Mill into a sack.
That's right, he tells himself,

Moving on is so overrated.
So then he does, he moves—

The tornado back inside its wire mesh
Inside his chest, where everything belongs.

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© 2002 Electronic Poetry Review