Brecht once wrote
Once thought I'd like to die between sheets of my own
I no longer straighten the pictures on the wall.
* * *
All this occurs
Because I so favor the provisional and don't altogether
Believe in myself.
Why is it that I so yearn for the
What is it in those provisional break
Brought to my room
The Hot Coffee & Hot Milk
(alternating with hot cocoa)
& Crisp Bread & Butter
(all on a tray)
The shock when I ask for a piece of gruyère to be added
The bed & the room
all made up
for my return
So (that) I can place myself at the desk
sit there & work at the desk next to the window
looking onto the hills around Zurich
& the back of Aix-en-Provence
1 9 7 0.
Do not do as you have always done
Do not act as you have always acted:
During what Arendt was to call 'dark times'
a government agent came to the house of a man who
'had learnt how to say no'
took over the man's house (& food) & asked
'Will you wait on me?'
The man put the agent to bed, covered him with a blanket,
guarded & obeyed him for seven years never saying a single word.
After seven years the agent grew fat & lazy
(phlegmatic) from (over) eating & (over) sleeping
The man then wrapped him in the (now) rotting blanket
Threw him out of the house
washed the bed
whitewashed the walls
sighed with relief