Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Jonah (2002)

That for which we find
words is something already
dead in our hearts.
- Nietzsche

Lord, you nailed me
to this passionate song.
There's nowhere I can go
that you don't insist
upon tearing wide these lips
like so much junk mail.
Last night I dreamed of a
cathedral of bone
pinned by Your salt weight,
basalt ribs cracking,
all doused in a black roar.
Struggling for words
I fell down your page,
drowning in pure verb.
Where can I go that
You don't irrupt
with the call? My history
has been Your riposte:
girls You swelled
til I burst, my thirst
You furied with booze,
nights turned nightmarish,
their hundred blades
angry for vein.
Long ago I fled the white
god who hammered good
parents into each other's
cross and then snapped
their children like bad host.
I ran into Your shadows
where you fostered me
to Roekthke and Plath.
Over long winter nights
I named each of their
losses my grave and then,
a bald Lazarus, offered the
words back to You like a scalp.
To this day I still trade
in poems, but I don't
believe any more
in their shiny white puckers.
Words are bum angels
who can't say a thing
about the bells they
preternaturally ring.
As Rilke said, the holy ire
which woke me too early
and desperate to write
these smoky lines
is just a starry fraud,
although-yes, my
So here I am,
your guilty prodigal,
a blabbermouth Ahab
backpedalled in Dick.
I leapt from the boat
and ended up here
at the bottom of the page,
depleted, furious, wrong,
wanting only to be held
by my wife for dear life.
Darkness is mashed
on every window today.
I give up, Lord:
Inscribe your roar here.
I'm headed back upstairs
to wake with
my wife and cat.
Go on and ripen that,
sweet Lord, with
red nails at the
pane. Make a
Jeremiad of this,
another rout.
I'll be touching her slow
as first light, waking
in the house only a
human love could
sustain, so frightfully
small, no business
of Yours at all.


Blogger KW said...

Found you in a strange way ( but so glad I did. This is beautiful.

December 22, 2004 at 12:46:00 PM PST  

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