Spring 1990 • Vol. XII No. 2 |

Unholy

[early spring 1989] Dear Master— Last night I slept in Mutiny, woke surrounded by the scent of citrus, just as day dilated like an eye peering telescopically over a rough sea of Sentimentia, spying an island after weeks on weeks of nothing but navy, an occasional predatory sea-bird, a gratuitous cloud, no noise except water & then after that more water—& spied land. When I was young I sold slow French kisses as dry goods to sailors, as some girls made madmoney in more genteel ways, I had none of this. It is unfortunate, especially in this hour of the millennium, to seek the Captain's calloused hand. He is more accustomed to handling rope, rough-whiskered sturdy twines, the perseverance of the sail as it ascends its mast & bursts like a god into the nautical knots of ruffian wind. He is so less used to handling the religious limbs of women, their long weaker arms, unbaptized clavicles, spleening, the Hopefull countenance. As I explained to Benjamin, the

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The Life of the City

By Kenneth Koch

[early spring 1989] Dear Master— Last night I slept in Mutiny, woke surrounded by the scent of citrus, just as day dilated like an eye peering telescopically over a rough […]

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