The ointment of grief is a thought that in all honesty came from looking at my stubbed little toe this morning that I applied ointment on busted open crack near the nail now beginning to form a scab as the ointment crystallized on it. The scab symbolizes the man and the ointment his surroundings and the environment. It’s a metaphor or a euphemism. I don’t understand poetry.
The first stanza is about birth and early life and his struggle through school (eating away the force the will the motivation to get through the day) and all the rules they make him follow (manners and fashions laid down by the fascists). He compares his teachers and the education to sounds made by porpoises (their scientific blend of frightening idiocy). They encourage pointless little accomplishments (wins and grins). He craves their attention and the lack of it has created a void inside him (brevities of incitement and enticement, cavities…). There’s also a mention of his observation of suicides among students (terminated needlessly so many propagations and polymerizations). He views mankind organically. We’re all made of propagating chains of carbon and polymers (DNA)
In the second stanza he describes his life after school, the intense competition to survive (rat race) and how fragile our existence is that we can lose everything so easily (roll of a dice) and for what? a little food, water? (grain of rice a shard of ice). He mentions the stress he has to cope with, the occasional instances of violent outbursts (duress). He compares the proletariat to downtrodden blind rodents keeping with the rat race analogy. He compares the life of the working class man to wound up brass toys and the tension in a spring that only lasts for a finite time until it’s demise. The stanza again ends with comparison of the human body to mere carbon and polymers. We’re all just different forms and arrangements. He exclaims that this was all a mistake (misnomers).
He briefly talks about the time he fell in love and how it ended in the third stanza.
The final stanza is about death. The poem is about his journey through life. He’s tired (spent) and regrets not having taken the time to complain. He admits that this is now just a sickly man’s rant as he vents his frustrations. He is the scab, the ointment is his environment. That analogy is prevalent right through. This poem doesn’t have a rhyme scheme. At least I don’t think so.
This is my explanation. You can interpret it the way you like.