Gargoyle 11
cover etching by Scott McIntyre
publication date 5/25/1979

Sperm Poem

Harrison Fisher

But you thought this would be
another seamy celebration
of the male seed. It isn’t, and
you’re wrong. I only threw
that title up there to catch
your eye, the one good one You have,
all these years the other one glass
and no one knowing, no one except me.

I don’t want to interfere
with your new marriage, and you
have every right to hope for respect
from her three children. No doubt
you have business associates, people
who like their people whole, and
they also must not know. You have
cornered yourself with secrecy.

I have been quiet in my destitution
long enough. You have every reason
to help me, a little money now and then.
All this knowledge, it makes me perspire,
and the bowel that is my radiator
bursts into its metallurgical
rites of steam,

beginning with an epileptic peal
of rusted bells that narrows into
the steady, unnerving telephone
ringing from the graveyards of indecency
where a version of your wife
walks the fields like a guide, pointing
out the eggs abandoned here, some there,
others scattered, until she bends closer

to one and finds it is an eye.
Then, of course, shaken, she calls me.
She will want to know
what is going on.
If I do not hear from you soon,
I will have to answer her.
I will assume you don’t care
what I say, and I will explain

in the slow voice of an endless winter
dropping immeasurable snow
to cover all like an honest lie,
and, under my mounds, cars,
dimes, children, the eyes
of awareness, and the eyeballs of malcontent.