the earless man

in a parking lot 
in maine i saw a man 
with no ear
just a thinning of
the hair behind there
where the sideburn would be
maybe one or two nubs;
hints at an ear, an ear to be 
little buds like a tadpole's first leg
this i saw at the stop and save

i knew a man who laid himself 
in parts in eggs, that is, 
he laid eggs 
a feat in and of itself
and in each egg a part, a foot
a hand, an eye, an elbow, a nose 
dozens of spare parts only 
the part that laid the eggs 
could not lay itself, he was always on the go
he traveled about 
in cartons 
avoiding the tabloids

i knew a man who cried like a cello
it saddened his wife 
all that bowing and weeping 
it drove her mad with grief
and in the end she divorced him
it rained an orchestra for weeks

why do i mention these three? 
what reason could there be? 
perhaps i'm thinking 
the eggman could spare an egg
with an ear and the earless man could move 
in with the man who cried cellos 
but i reaching 
i'm all these three
have in common really

some say 
there is a reason for everything 
perhaps there is really
perhaps it's a shitty reason, really 
why should a man be born without an ear? 
and who will ask the earless man?

i can imagine why it might be fun 
and or advantageous to lay oneself
in parts in eggs, though i haven't worked out
how you'd put it all back together again 
(horses and men?) 
still fun and advantage 
are not reasons
are they?

a man who cried cellos
makes no sense at all
how can we speak of reason 
when there is no sense?

i knew a man with neither sense nor reason 
you have probably known such men
they collect string or railroad maps
they need help using the toilet, feeding themselves
they have ears but do not seem to hear
they are broken in pieces like eggs
they cry but no one understands the music

						augusta maine
						august 26, 1992