Jackhammers, frail and hollow against the fist
of my solitude, break something even frailer than they.
The city, as pebbled and sticky as gound, pulls
itself apart, paves itself together, insensible
to everything except its bright dream of truck and barter.

Am I the only one who hears the hammers?
Am I the only one who doesn’t care
about what they’re breaking (apart
from my sandstone concentration)?
I am the hammers, says the Zen master,
who’s mostly deaf anyway.

They’ve got a Modern Man out there, a man they’re troubling
into fragments with trucks and koans and dreams,
and I’m alone with the broken line of thought we used
to cruise, used to hold in common,
used to love with such distracting passion.