Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

From "Soul of My Soul" (2000)

(taken from A Breviary of Guitars, a sort of autobiography of the song. The timeframe of this poem is the year 2000 as I look back on the summer of 1981)

...My boy
toys all hearkened
me toward the
sweet dark of
a woman’s body:
Playing doctor
or Ringmaster
Ned or the
Patient in
the Woods:
Alone I playacted
Bond to whup
the archvirile
shadow of
the world &
get the girl
in the final
credits: Sketch
pad, journal,
guitar, fretboard,
all received
my aches and
arches like
wadded Kleenex
of soul
but safely:
Eventually I
always find my
way out
beyond the
thorns to
a woman’s
naked vale
& I have always
taken what
I though I
could: Was
shocked wide
open by a
scant week of
Becky’s pillow
sighs & for
3 years wandered
through some
purgatory of
the low tide
she washed
away on:
Down in
Florida I
exhausted every
avenue I thought
she’d disappeared
down & had
grown utterly
cynical of the
search: Just
when I said
I bump into
Kay and this
royal wave
rose up outta
nothing and
washed every
notion I had
of love away:
A couple of
nights after
that first long
night I drove
into south
Orlando to
see Kay where
she lived
with her parents,
she rebounding
from a 4 year
stint with some
soccer star and
working nights
as a programmer
for ABC Liquors:
When she
opened the door
for me I
nearly collapsed,
seeing her just
as I’d left
her -- wide
open to me
in her smile
inviting me
in: I greeted
the folks like
I usually do,
wooing them
with sweet
charm (the
parents always
love me, to
the girls’
dismay): Kay
and I drive
off into the
last gold light
of the day,
lawn sprinklers
hissing and heat
rising into night
in expectation
and slow
Over untouched
drinks at some
fern bar I
try to play
it cool as
we exchange
data which hardly
has anything
to do with this--
how I write
(maybe a novel
someday) and
would like to
get a band
going again --
Kay tells me
about working
nights and hoping
to move in with
her sister --
but all of
this is just
a drone in
front of what’s
shouting in
her green eyes
& smiles:
The riptide
is inexorable:
& so soon
I’m out there
blurting how
I’m falling so
deeply in love
with her & can’t
stand to be
a second away
from her &
she closes her eyes
& sighs yes
o yes
& we’re outta
there & driving
in my car
anywhere her
fingers tugging
at my zipper
& pulling out
& kneading my
rockhard cock
& I can hardly
see the road
& then we’re
behind some
bank in a parking
lot & Kay
astraddle me
pumping for
all she’s worth
mashing her
breasts in
my face &
crying I
want to have
your baby
& it’s minutes
before we
hear the
security guard
knocking at
the window:
Lord it’s been
almost 20
years since those
nights when
the knot of fire
raged between
us & still my
pen gallops ahead
heedless of
the strain urgently
trying to write
the words down
as they fly:
Nothing approximates
those few moments
of arrival and
erasure in the
hot alembic of
chemistry: Kay
surely was one
of the most
seamless unions
I have ever
known: At
least for one
two maybe
three nights:
But I know
now it wasn’t
Kay who
transfixed me
on my cross
of desire:
her green
eyes shouting
yes o yes
in the dark
of that parking
lot were just
the nails:
The ancient
Greek lyric
poet Meleager
said it right
when he wrote
“In my heart
Eros himself
created sweet
voiced Melissa,
the soul of
my soul”: For
a time Kay
was the soul
of my soul,
sent by Eros
as a doublebarbed
arrow of sweet
and bitter and
grace and curse
and ocean
and eternal pit:
That music
deafened my
rock rages
with roses
and nipples:
“I swear, I
swear it
by Eros,” I /
Would rather
hear her whisper
in / my ear
than listen
to Apollo
playing his lyre,”
quoth Meleager
again, a
startling statement
for a poet
of the ages
but infernally
true: Do you
think you
prefer to sit
here writing of
lost loves and
rock n roll
when I
could instead
be yet riding
that wave, the
shape of pure
dolphin abandon?
Ah but who
ever gets to
choose such
things: Cupid is
whimsical and
Adult Eros
marries Psyche
& trades his
wings for the
daily labors of
love: Yet he
never stops
being a lover:
And that old
magic music
entrances me
still: It winds
and down this
stair of
memory which
I call Breviary:
I chase old
loves in the
Otherworld of
crafted dream
& return with
a ring of
fire within
my gold wedding
ring: A sulphurous
lion mates the
vernal queen:
At week’s end
Kay and I
drove out
to New Smyrna
Beach where
we registered
at some surfside
hotel as a
married couple
and climbed at
last into
the cool sheets
of a bed:
Labial folds
of naked
softly plashing
surf in
a darkened
room and the
two of us
clenched in
our coil
of immortal
fire, panting
rising spasming
& littering sleeve
after sleeve
of Fourex on
the floor: The
next morning
we walked on
the beach --
me in shorts
and Kay in a
bikini which
fit her loosely
(relics of
a past season,
of an old
passion) --
The sun just
up from an
eastern marl
of cloud, soft
80º breezes, the
sea a quilt
of coral
and cerulean
folds with
crest of spermlike
foam, sandpipers
flittering by
our feet:
Kay had stopped
to pick up
a shell and
when she rose
up again to
look at me
with her back to
the sea &
the sun flooding
her every
hair and soft
full curve
with the
richest ripest
most pernicious
gold & in
that instant
she was Thetis
or Circe
or Aphrodite
herself just
off the
foam of the
old father’s
balls: Freeze
that moment
and fire it
from the
bow of bios
right through my
birthmark &
deep into my
soul to
pierce the soul
of my soul,
harrowing me
with an
utter presence-
I will
forever sing:


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