At Ankhesenamun's Sorrow

The final night we were together, he slipped
our crowns off, and our robes.  Joyous, we lay
in pleasure's bliss until the break of day
They killed him, later, "for the sake of Egypt,"
and scraped his name off every monument.
Insidious and evil their intent
was, that he might not live eternally,
forgotten in our ancient history.
But priests and politicians have presumed
too much:  the truth of him will lie entombed
until, someday, some scholar will uncover
the evidence of him, and me---his lover.
Until that far-flung time, his place will be
witnessed by this small scrap of poetry.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Acknowledgment to dreamalittle04, whose mention of the Pharaoh's name set me to thinking about this poem, and to determine if I could find something to rhyme with "Egypt."

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Epigram On Early America

[in memory of Nugator]


Here---in this (if you will) vast colony
of Europe; this republic---is a quirk:
that our most honored aristocracy
are those who earn their living by hard work.
It has not been so elsewhere (ought to be;
but sloth is a temptation powerfully
put forth).  After long labor, still a part
of time exists for poetry and art:
thereby more precious and, for effort, worth
more in this new republic on the earth.





Author's Notes/Comments: 

Nugator was a poet in ante-bellum Virginia, who signed his poems and brief prose works with that Latin pen name.

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At The Corner Of The Street Called Straight

Lord, I have judged this man's lost reputation
that he had made before you brought Salvation
to him.  I, too, know how that changes life
and brings about an end to spiritual strife.
It is much like the way You brought Your peace
to storm, wind, waves, commanded once to cease
their rage.  I judged, Lord, what You had forgiven:
therefore, my sin (worse than his) must be shriven.
The havoc he has wreaked upon your churches---
and evil done to your dear saints---still lurches
in my mind, Lord.  I pray:  remove that bias.
Restore me, Lord, your servant, Ananias,
such that when Brother Saul thinks on my name,
it shall not be a synonym for shame.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

After Acts 9:10-17; John 14:27; Mark 4:39

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The Death of the Fox

The fox, they found her in the fields.

She lay in the lilacs, sweetening her breath;

she rested in the grass where her kits were stillborn.

Her red fur was covered in redder dust.

Little vixen, so surprisingly bright,

vivid against the ground and the grey,

they drove her through the forests,

their bloodhounds and bayonets gleaming

silky smooth in the dappled sunlight.

She dove through dead leaves and gnarled roots.

She snapped her paw and thought it quite dear

to have such happiness just before death.

The fox, her den was all flushed out,

searched for lovers and fur and signs of fresh blood,

and they found these tokens in bare brown rock.

Slowly stripped and given false hope,

the Lady Reynard no longer the purple-blushed queen,

she is nothing of what she was years ago.

Her head, it lay in a bramble of thorns,

and her breast is mottled with mud and tears.

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Self Born

Finding my crib beneath my bed

At the age of fourteen. Never

Throwing anything out. Piles.

Piles upon piles of junk

“Aren’t you glad I saved it?”

This is where I’m from.

I’m from creaky floorboards,

Mice squeaking in the night.

I’m from the middle of the woods,

Seeing families of deer each day,

From piles of pine needles, bent trees and

Fallen branches across the fresh cut grass

I’m from fingerprinted walls, drying paint, fruit

Stencils along the hallway, moldy basements, a broken swing-set.

From paths that lead to rusty cars or rusty street signs,

Broken bird’s’ nests and robins’ eggs.

I’m from a land of laughing gas

That makes me laugh like assorted animals

Varying from hyenas to monkeys. From laughing

To hear “did you eat feathers for lunch?”

Or even just laughing at the things dad say

“Put on your shoeses”. From cracking up at anything and everything.

I’m from speaking French or speaking English with a French accent

From naming unknown species and dressing for Halloween as a wallibeater.

Making crazy songs and lyrics to join them, and dancing too.

From having wacky nicknames like you shpoog, apple pie, hal bop,

Little green baby bird, from being a shnooze and giving puhs.

I’m from rooms with oriental rugs, cases of

Blue and white china, wade figurines, les santons

And of course the millions of turtles everywhere.

I’m from hiding behind the chair in

The living room, the room no one is allowed to go in.

From playing apples to apples, and Balderdash.

I’m from a place where I sometimes fit in,

But no matter I always kind of stick out.

A place where I try to be

Something else, but I’m always from me.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

9th grade. "I am from"

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Nocturnes: Dinner In A Rather Cheap Tavern

Only when kneeling, tearful, she concedes
the satisfaction of my dominance
and recognizes that her own condition
requires that she offer her full submission
to me:  then, only, I can meet her needs;
until, godlike, I dominate her vision,
and wholly pleasing me is all she wants.
When disciplined, her body, mind, and soul---
given to me---will be a pure reflection
of my will, making her most beautiful,
for all to see, because she bears my marks.
Karl, beat that dog a bit, for it still barks
too loudly.  And you, traveling here, when in
Moscow, just ask for me by my name---Lenin.

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At Her New Suburban Home In Rome

She is still not accustomed
to the absence of shackles and the collar;
the absence of ringed tags that pierced her lower softness.
Sometimes, distracted, she still moves
as if to accommodate them.
But they are gone, and he is dead---
the bastard who imposed them upon her.
Sometimes her nakedness is still
an offering of humbled, enslaved submission,
and not the expression of her natural beauty:
but the stockings have done much to change that---
(gold silk, translucent along each leg,
but opaque around her heels and toes;
made to her exact measurements
by a most cunning craftsman on Cos)---
and when she is wearing them, wearing only them,
she is somehow more aware of herself
than ever before when enslaved.
Tonight, as she reclines against you,
sheltered in your embrace and therein cuddled;
and the candle's glow accentuates
the shape of her legs in those stockings;
her nervous apprehension is assuaged
by the gentle, sometimes playful, caress of one finger---
yours, that you have dipped (just a bit) in honey: gliding
over her lips (both upper and nether);
over her tongue and the tips of her breasts;
over the private cleft beneath soft pubic hair
(and, from there, a soft moan vibrates
in her throat, like a kitten's purr),
even to that humbled place
her buttocks modestly conceal;
even along the contours of
her toes, sheathed in the dark silk's softness.
Wherever she has been hurt, or tortured before,
the honey touches, and reassures her "---never more,
"never again."  She will probably never fully forget;
it still disturbs her dreams in sleep, sometimes.
The welts and bruises have long since healed.
The brand may fade, in time, so Luke, your physician, hopes;
but it will never be entirely gone,
although entirely defeated
by the new life that she has with you---
so Luke declared, and with him, Mark
(both of them here in Rome to help and comfort Paul),
on the day you wed her, in sight of the gathered church.





Author's Notes/Comments: 

Luke and Mark, both evangelists and authors of Gospels, are mentioned together in Philemon 24, as being present in Rome during Paul's imprisonment.

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At The Top Of My E-mail

[with thanks to Lady Shane]


Poet, you should describe for us
a session in the studio,
a brief parenthesis of light and leisure,
and the shared affection of three friends
before they must return to
the shadowed disappointments of their mundane lives.

Show the room illuminated
by gentle candlelight, and the glow
of a warm fire behind the grate:
in one corner, the erstwhile painter, sketching;
in another corner, the student prince, learning;
and in the room's center, the model, posing
(Mary; Marissa, she likes them to call her)
not nude, not stripped of her clothes as the world seeks,
but clad in the silk peignoir that she loves,
and putting on---then joyously modeling---
new, sheer-silk stockings (make them gray
with reinforcements at the toes;
that will keep the fashion mavens furious).

Listening to Billy Ocean's song,
"Love Really Hurts Without You,"
I have music that she did not have
as I imagine how it must have been for her:
stockings for their own sake---sheer, silk stockings,
expensive, purchased that day by her friends
for her enjoyment.  She had never thought
of stockings as more than a garment,
part of the foundation of the modesty
required, at least on the street, of a prostitute,
or a fine, nobly titled lady
(a paradox most certainly in that);
or as something expensively flimsy
that crude men like to tear and rip away,
in their obsession with one, sole intent.
But these are hers by which she may explore
the beauty of her legs more beautifully;
the glide of silk-sheathed footsteps on the floor
(for who would hide such loveliness in boots?),
the sibilance of motion as she turns
her legs, or flexes them, or take a pose---
stretched out, curled up, sprawled in a chair,
or dangling them off of the table's edge.
Bare-legged and barefoot on Ireland's grass,
when dew-drenched then sun-warmed, had often been
a sensual delight in teenaged years;
but nothing like the almost rapturous bliss
(softness, warmth, translucence, and a sense
of floating without care) of stockinged feet.
A multitude of variations demonstrate
the pleasure that these stockings bring to her,
the effervescent enthusiasm with
which every moment is conveyed before
their gaze.  The lesson?--a kinetic sketch,
not still life, but active, exuberant,
a moment lost in time, yet still recalled
upon those pages, and their memories.

Describe this, for us, Poet, in your lines.

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At Whitechapel: Taking Care

From Eddy's royal wallet sprang the cash;
and from my own words, added, the persuasion,
for poverty can flog a painful lash,
while facts can be changed by imagination.
To those whom we selected, whom we bribed
(but, not of course, with harmful drugs or booze),
we gave conflicting evidence, described
with just enough real detail to confuse
investigators; and our expectation
was well fulfilled.  And no one's explication
has solved the mystery or bared the ruse.
This verbal artwork threw a proper cover
that still deceives.  Mary, my erstwhile lover,
left England for a better destination.




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