Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Childe Clovis to No Tower Came, Dark or Otherwise

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Childe Clovis to No Tower Came, Dark or Otherwise

Article excerpt

Because the road had shredded

into chaotic spider veins that often

looped back on themselves or led

nowhere or to heinous culs de sac

or grave yards that my steed (what steed?

I limped by foot or behind the wheel

of a battered Ford in the end stolen

by a frenzied woman with murder

in her eyes, she, denizen of a hovel

along the diverse wayside)

refused to traverse, the old beast laboring

to stand much less plod, collapsing

in the darkness (oh, much darkness,

tower or no) so that I awoke to find her

un-saddled by thieves, black bulbous flies

zig-zagging around the carcass,

a lone buzzard perched on the cable

of a telephone pole.

For I, I who remember Aurelius,

had wandered into a country

of desolation governed by a jester,

an orange, motley creature swollen

with lard and cooed by brigands

and fools intent upon ravaging

both the land and its people-

but, enough, I must not outpace

myself, time is short, the future

an illusion, the past fanned out

behind us like a peacock's tail.

Besides, commentary on the absurd

is itself absurd.

Know that the road in itself

was indeed straight from seed bed

to ultimo-its fibrous, rhizome

splintering from my own imagining,

my own fractured vision, my own

swerving, and worse, I knew it all

before the misdirection as if a

personal grail were never enough,

I knew the perilous deflections as

deflections, the jazzy joints packed

with beauties in sequins, the lapse

into rapacious gathering of capital,

the opium dens and sleazy motels,

the debauchery. …

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