Malcolm Lowry without

You must sit, said Love
And taste my meat
So sit I did, so soon to eat.
Edwarde Briar

He sustained himself by waiting
until very late in the day
before allowing any thought
of food to cross his mind.

By four or five in the afternoon
and by habit having always risen
before daylight, he was sufficiently hungry
that the same plateful of white cheese
and dry crackers became appealing.

It was in this way that he managed
to live without working
despite his very small income
which in itself was derived
from the royalties he was due
thanks to patenting an idea
many years before.

He had realized by accident one day
that a particular boiled bean
when left in carbonated liquid
will take on the appearance
of a maggot or worm larvae.

And it had been the selling
of this possibility for an annual sum
to a Mexican distillery which, even today,
paid for his daily cheese and crackers
and therefore kept him
from the distractions of employment.

The balance of his money, such as it was
allowed for little more than his weekly shaving
and an occasional newspaper.
This however proved sufficient.

He wrote:

I have been reading myself
for clues, hoping for shivers of light
caught between the lines
as though some glowworm
here still glowing.

I am thinking of marriage
of Figaro certainly
but also those other states
which resemble the body caught cold
as though the worm.

And I am white and I was shivering
caught, but now I am as if wood
on a beach taken homeward
and there left kindly unpolished
ragged yes, these thorns collected
but of the tree not forgotten
of the forest never cleared
of your possibility.

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