Friendless, with an intimation of islands, The merchant set up shop on shore. He had no jovial manner and made no eye Contact with customers but gazed-- They might be birds or nations--at white Forms out there in the offing. People preferred Buying from him to pretending to be hearty And earthy--what you have to do with some shopkeepers. He was the lower-middle class transfinite-- Handing you something to eat and taking the cash With indifference like the unpainted eyes Of the oldest classical sculptures of their own erosion, The self (imagine this) no longer tainted, The blue long gone because of weather.
Poem from The Printer's Error, reprinted with permission of Miami University Press