in Spider-Webbed Twilight.
I’d be Saint of Cracked Song, Patron of the Incomplete
But then, saintly though I might be, the spider goes hungry.
Anyway, there’s already a multitude, patrons of the broken web,
lost keys – so many, this book says, their duties overlap, say,
Patron Saint of Fractions.
(See Incomplete and Longing.) That’s who The Who prayed to,
as “Pop Art Auto Destruction,” this, Pete Townsend’s phrase,
his name a line and demarcation. The young like to break things,
The young like a summer drum you put your foot through:
Jon Entwistle, The Who’s bassist, stored all his parts
in a wooden
coffin box, until middle-age donned its knee-high socks.
Then he undid the undoing, cobbling five guitars into one
he dubbed “Frankenstein,”
whose name my friend Frank and I shared with it and, well,
romantic sci-fi tragic victim hero. Together, we made a creature
the smarty pants party drunks
called “Frank-and-Stein” from the keg-drenched kitchen.
Aren’t we all cobbled of pieces, glued and screwed and strung
ready to snap? Are we instruments some huge hand plucks?
Are we the roses
or a cricket’s cracked song? And redemption? – in the end
auctioned “Frankenstein” for a cool $100,000.
Frank did ten years in the county orphanage. (See Incomplete
His mother remarried a furnace whose pilot wouldn’t stay lit.
You’ve heard about
the stutterer who falling from a ladder is cured of his affliction
but made suddenly
blind. What he no longer sees he sings about instead.
“Sufficiency of the Actual” originally appeared in Poetry. Copyright © 2005 by Kevin Stein.