Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Alter Vigorish (Jan. 20, 2005)

Cuntre tempeste chante!
E plure bel tens.

(She sings during storms
and cries when it is fine)

-- Description of the siren
in Phillipe de Thaon’s Bestiare (c. 1120)

Dreamy wave with the
undertow of scales,
you are my beloved’s
alter vigorish, blues
sung black with
endless teeth below.
What joy you croon
when tides are cruel,
the snap of masts and
sailors’ necks like
courtside lutes
inside your dragon
throat. Your mouth
saws passions
from below, splattering
ruin on the windows
of a life. Like blues
poured from a
whiskey glass,
there’s a bite of you
in every stolen
kiss, infernal wings
which spread,
like whiskey, to
rouse every extreme
end. But when
love is sweet and
nestled home at last,
you are in the trees out
back sawing harps
with blue misery,
your old waif’s voice
recalling all the nights
you crested and
red ravened
on saltier careens.
Something hauls below
the wake I prow
which sings loudest
from abyss, those wicked
depths a foolish
man will go
naming every curve
to tail in undertow.
Something made in
heaven and so freighted
with the greater half
of soul that it can
only sing from drowning
rocks a thousand lives ago.


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