Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ogre On The Road (2001)

Perhaps the minotaur
is a poet. Is Poetry.
A hoary hammer, like sex.
Didn't the Irish bard
Senachen once meet
a churl on the road
whose hellmouth
was the gate of all song?
Why are sweet words
suddenly so loathsome
on this road we
must all travel some night?

In the Irish tales
the lord of the South
was a harper-changeling,
a green giant who'd
as soon sing as lose
his head (or yours)
at the solstice. (And oh
what a pretty wife had
he, wearing only that
green pubic sash...)
Horrid lug was just
one his guises. A signal
that you've hit the
mid-point of the barrow.

Question is, what then?
Senachen could have
turned back and trudged
home as Senachen,
but instead he got past
and went on to become
a Taleissin. Will I eventually
write poems too, after all
this posing and posing
in poisoned trash heaps?

The problem is, a lyric
is not a tale. No stripper
here with nipples to offer
in ripened sequence: this
is flashing: not fiction,
but close. Poets play fast
with truths but from the
other side: We dip the day's
pewter turds into moonwater
and -voila!-pull out a
silvery bone of spirit.
Preter-truths, a peel more
real than the real itself.

But who cares for such
jugglery today? Poems for
a penny, a dozen for two!
Least of all cares this oaf,
burdened with this
bushel of rancid poems.
I would rather sneakeypete
around this beast of sweet
utterance just to get home again.
To what at least is livably real.

But I wrote my way here and
must write my way through.
For now these satires,
black-pelted raillery at
the ogre on the road.
I'm a king's fool, worthy only
in reverse, offering for your
pleasure ugly words on a page
of foul brine, a bitterroot
inked with all that somehow
must be said before there's
any going on or going home.


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