Dire one and desired one,
Savior, sentencer--In an old allegory you would carry
A chained alphabet of tokens:Ankh Badge Cross.
Engraved figure guarding a hallowed intaglio,
Jasper kinema of legendary Mind,
Naked omphalos pierced
By quills of rhyme or sense, torah-like:unborn
Vein of will, xenophile
Yearning out of Zero.Untrusting I court you.Wavering
I seek your face, I read
That Crusoe's knife
Reeked of you, that to defile you
The soldier makes the rabbi spit on the torah.
"I'll drown my book" says Shakespeare.Drowned walker, revenant.
After my mother fell on her head, she became
More than ever your sworn enemy.She spoke
Sometimes like a poet or critic of forty years later.
Or she spoke of the world as Thersites spoke of the heroes,
"I think they have swallowed one another.I
Would laugh at that miracle."You also in the laughter, warrior angel:
Your helmet the zodiac, rocket-plumed
Your spear the beggar's finger pointing to the mouth
Your heel planted on the serpent Formulation
Your face a vapor, the wreath of cigarette smoke crowning
Bogart as he winces through it.You not in the words, not even
Between the words, but a torsion,
A cleavage, a stirring.You stirring even in the arctic ice,
Even at the dark ocean floor, even
In the cellular flesh of a stone.
Gas.Gossamer.My poker friends
Question your presence
In a poem by me, passing the magazine
One to another.Not the stone and not the words, you
Like a veil over Arthur's headstone,
The passage from Proverbs he chose
While he was too ill to teach
And still well enough to read,
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