|Apr. 26th, 2011 @ 12:17 am It's the opposite of faith / and I know these aren't the days / could you walk away?|
ποῦ: location: it's not a matter of letting go
ὡς δοκεῖ: mood:
it's just a matter of vertigo
ἡ μουσική: music:
Falling Over - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
I miss my Frood, and I can't wait to go home. I had a lovely time visiting my grandparents, an amazing time with my sister and mom, and am enjoying the company of dear lotusstone. I've also been simmering myself in poetry for National Poetry Month.
This piece was first published in Nota Bene: the Journal of Classical Studies at UC Davis (2003). I first posted it here in 2004.
Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit.
-Horace, Epistles 2.1.156
I siphon crumbled vellum
into my dusty lung,
breathe between words
riding full and sharp on the roof
of my mouth, settling
at the root of my throat. Lop
eared leaves, lashed
by yellow gum and twine, crouch
under my palms. I pay
out long nights and lexicons
striving to cast my thoughts
to your conjugations.
Others claim collarbone and hair
with scented oils. I smell
of coffee grounds, cold
ash, mephitic pain-potions
that oil my irregular joints. Your
angles, however, are mollified
and gnomic. My ear traces
along slide and slope
of γ, stutters over
ribcage of ξ, and rushes
into υ, that indian-giver,
deeper than y and looser than w.
and susurrations, tilt
of tense and metre,
I hear the cold echo, "Evoe,
evoe!" and then
I wield thyrsus and vine, both
abrupt and familiar—like Agave, I am
all mouths. The fierce eggs
of my eyes geld all
watchers. From your verb skeletons
I parse puzzle pieces of need
and my milk-buds weep viscous sap.
Then, when I wane in the space before sleep,
I align my spine to the slow cadence
behind your catalogue of ships. I mark
each woolly exodus through cave lips
and press my teeth against shorn
underbelly. Ithaca is a jagged hearth, good
for raising sons. But my olive-cured child
is a stranger, and I will never reclaim my home.
Tharrei, O Odysseu, ton noston dioke! *
I am many-turning. I am trident's enemy.
I am No One and do not fear
the snuffed sight of Polyphemus above.
You are a serene victim. In return,
I erect stonework devotions and offer
fumbled knucklebones. My clumsy skill
knocks your cadaver, bruises sense
and syntax. I do not hear shards
of discourse to my right
and ill-starred left. I do not
smell smooth bean tonics
in heated glass. I do not see creatures
of a day, temporal and blinding.
I cannot touch the machinery of this world
with fourth-century eyes.
*Take heart, Odysseus, your homecoming awaits!