From BELLICOSE VARIATIONS

Article excerpt

Prey to a most violent shock, wretched

and near to your heart I sent incense smoke into

your eyesockets. The Ardeatine caves mixed credences

and dreams- I had departed, you had returned- death

was a crescendo of violence that found no succor

in your head of deceit. The murky waters of

my disenchantment were polished by your joy and by

my having you in hand, near and far like the turbine

of summer stars. The night- wind departed and

dreamt grandiose things: I rhymed within my powers

and took part in the void. The spinal column of

your sins harangued the crowd: the train ground to a halt

and it was within its talk that truth paused.

In the encounter with the fairytale resided outlaws.

Christ hauled (below his parasol) (his cross) a

shapeless material; words being hauled through the dust of the

painting of the glass cloister. Below his glass clauster

Christ hauled a saber. Twelve sheep smirked

distractedly at his prayer. I mounted my cheap modesty

in arabesques, up toward the arched glass windows of

his dining room, daisies cast in iron on lawns

and the heavens dimmed with ferocious blue. I ascended the stairway

of quite self-absorbed piety, with the quadriform cross

of its hardness behind me. Christ upon the cross was a

dove, ranging tenderly, alluring with his tail

the tender colours of a heaven just Ut. Christ deformed

the world in a thousand ways, catacombs of tears. His

resplendent and cruel Byzantine eyes hacked little swallows

in the hollow of the heart. Cruelty kept silent, perhaps less mastress

of the world, or universe with too-tight petticoat, if he

cried. …