Samson was a wild force, civilizing in his wake, pushing by his own acts his kind to extinction; his is the warrior tradition of Gilgamesh and Heracles heroic, troubled; only one more corpse in the rubble.
I cannot sleep, for the frozen pomegranate's
Time under the dead ground is come again...
Evolved of chemicals in an ionized brine,
Descended of the thumb-sized olive in lampreys,
Throbbing in the chests of those first to die
Ashore, the first to make a mark
On land; the first, that would not entirely fill
The declination of a single saurian nail,
The first to crawl, to rub their glossy limbs out
From forth the frothing seas-evolved from these,
My own heart wakes me, mine own saline
Pump. It is God, perhaps, knocking
On my soul. And it is death, tapping
Through the white streets
With a white cane...
The same cold spell further north
Would break water from the air;
It jingles softly, as bells wrapped
In larded pelts, or ice to fingertip.
The loudest yell sent forth
Freezes sound stiff to hair
And lingers, a tiny hell trapped
By echoing peals and pogonip.
Insomniac, I stare, transfixed by stars:
My sopping locks are soon a rigid wig,
A crown of black horns pointed out to gore.
Soon comes second millennium. Too soon
The second decade seen. Revelations
Whisper of silent Gotterdamerung,
Long since commenced, unheard on earth,
And play themselves out, leaving a poisoned
Hammer only behind, haft crumbling whole.
We live the bleakest marge, a twilight Sheol,
Wherein the thin shades eat the offered souls,
Eyelids dripping like slip from over-damp clay.
A conjured vision from the darkness came,
A fog leveled over the Pallas of my brain:
Near march the brigands in white
Whole bearded legions of grim
Waiting to match the mighty
Cataracts of Samson
Alopecia, with his blunt and weaving jaw;
We fall to our knees before the specious men
Who study guts we inquire how Tireseus is getting along,
The wizened man in the double-breasted suit.
Emptied are the chipping halls
And broken are the strings; holy detritus
Left behind, with only Echo following
My advance; I dance with Mary and Saint Vitus...
Our lovely Adversary, his wadded
Dewlap hanging down,
Wakes the sleeping sea creatures, and bids them drown.
We flint the torches, and sprinkle
Blood "Say abracadabra"
And then, with lowered voices,
Intone, "yes, Abba" the candelabra
Glisten against the wet buttresses
That housed our once-detergent God.
In this open house without a master,
The angels never sleep, neither yet will we;
For all and each are fleeing
The grasping strokes of slimy sea kings,
Always seeking sailors, while streaming water
Deserts their beards and lifts the manes
Of silent standing herds.
Below, hunkered by a bale, gathering
White wool, the bent slaves pick cotton,
Drunk with sleep, as monotonous
Drifts of sky go creeping without grace.
Mary laughs. After the first clumsy embrace,
An afterglow of moldered innocence
Seethes with musk and smoldered incense.
Narcissus gnaws on shreds of turkey,
His smile a study in smoke surgery.
Shelling peanuts with his teeth,
He bares his lupine stubs, sour breath
Floating about him like long hair in a bath.
He is the comb run flat across
The toothpaste tube, the get the last,
A man who's spent the better part
Of an entire lifetime draped in horses'
Hair, turned inside-out and forced
To bear the falling out of courses in the stars.
He is inspired to surmount the sermon
On the mount with sweeter words:
There is a shift, we wake...
The milky road spangles in a cross-stitch
Overhead, so dark I am buried, an ostrich
In the sand, tip-toe to head down, struck
With wonder at the beams of osage light;
Just thunder. The gavel of just Jove.
The smaller clouds jump and bounce, preambles
To mountains, slow roiling, they are soaked brambles
Thumped against a throw rug, raising dust
Like smoke to the newest, popular heaven, where seraphim
Sing out the new Morricone theme,
Composed for the pernicious dauphin,
Whose casket is carved with leaping dolphin.
...Only to dream again
They come to gaze on the wounded side,
Sucking down the soft bodies of oysters
And drinking Tabasco, a boisterous
Crowd in the bar. They start their descent,
Munching on cherries and mince pheasant,
Lisping along to mellifluous, dulcet
Hymns, motioning towards a broken nest, where once a gull sat
Brooding on the rocks, and had, like they, seldom
But finally risen above the waves and serfdom.
They jump into a sandy bed that Alpheus lost,
Governed now by a single aged albatross,
And are easily scattered by quick-flicked batons
The natives throw, expecting early frost.
From the rain of manna
From the death of Pan
The birth of first man.
Sleep now forevermore.
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