A Fragment from
copied from the plate of an unpublished 1981 drypoint
which was the first version of catalog
#62, Self Portrait as Herm
in my 2003 Retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California...
Spring and autumn, summer
and winter, my names are the seasons. My breath is day and night, I have
never seen my face.
The tangle of my nerves is
the chronicle of the years. I am Be Beggar, I beg endlessly to be. And
when I wake, a world arises; and when I sleep, another takes its place.
Through all the worlds, I
am in the fire of those who lust, I am in the soul of those who dream. I
have lain forever in the gutters of the world; I shine in the dusty
windows of tenements everywhere. I am the herm at the center of the four
fields. I am the Hesper Tree in autumn; I seed the earth with the stored
riches of my year.
I am only a whispering in
the blood, murmuring in the mind, speaking in the dream.
I am a bird perched upon
the world’s high cornices.
And I will die, my body
will be scattered and will never return. I will be in the body and the
life and the dream of all who are yet to come.
My days are the leaves of
a great tree in autumn, they fall in golden torrents.
I am a statue in an old
My life is a spiral, I
follow the line.
I dwell in old cities. My
veins are clogged with ruin, my mouth is choked with dust.
Venus was my mother;
Dionysus was my father. I take after both sides of the family: I am
I am a bird in the sand.
With every surge, the sea flows through me. I will last long, but then I
will be gone.
I am the old post in the
sand by the shore.