Saturday, September 13, 2008

Juvenilia - Mona Zote

The Idiot Goes to Hell

He marked the spot
with a precise cross
and brought a chair
to place it there.
He tied the rope
up round the hook
and put the noose
around the neck.
He kicked the chair
down to the floor
and presently
he went to hell.

It had to be
(his mother said)
in all his life
the only thing
that he did well.

Home Going

Making landfall by intimations alone
On the lunatic fringe, in a paper ship,
I fold the accordion of my selves.

Rehearse the fruitless grammar of queens,
Here in the motionless latitude of Ma'rib
That sulks in silence like a rebuked putto.

I sit and finger the apple of my youth,
Turning a face as though blindfolded
To the imprint that a menstrual sun

Has left on the inner scroll of my eye.
The dialogue of two will continue
Unchecked, in the oil-press of the mind
Under the formalaic shade of reason.
At Knossos, having tea with the minotaur,
I saw lightning sew the purses of the sky

And against my will recalled that man,
Reputed for wisdom, as last I saw him,
Seated with the harp smashed across his knee.
Thoughtful, scratching the pale more on his hand.


Editor's note: As the post title indicates, these poems are very early works of the writer.