PKD, A Visitation – Jacob Borchardt

he didn’t have any hair left
            or even the top of his head
                                    and the leathery dura mater
— the brain case
         pulsed like some chrysalis its contents
dry– unglimpsed and  undreamt

remember always this

Phil– I’m sure it was Phil– spoke
                        with the gravity of a Jesuit

the earth is a garden
            with neither walls nor roof

he leaned over my headboard
                        his shrunken face close to mine

and so the lie is put
            to every trampled serpent
            I saw split scales on a pale belly
ropy guts tangled and twisting
                                          in the dirt beside
a wormy apple
          Phil sucked the brown nubs of his teeth

it was all only ever the black iron prison
                        the great carcerium whose walls are not
walls but mirrors of supposition and
                                                sharp-tongued condemnation

the only sin ever was
                        the shirt that rots now on my back
he gave a rattling sigh
            and stared at his cracked fingertips

now is never
            the only time

he said and for just a moment
                                               the dead look
                        left his empty eyes

waking and
me abed,
            pinkish sunlight
on bare skin

I could no longer find
            the walls of my room

In his poetry, Jacob Borchardt works very hard to balance a sense of disjointed, surreal narrative with the emotionality typically associated with contemporary poetry. Favorite authors include Wallace Stevens, Tom Lux and E.E. Cummings. He hopes you enjoy his work.