Thursday, 27 September 2007

Vesper of Mythology

Did You come to see me last night
in a dream?
I dreamt of many things
between the churning of buried thoughts amid the sheets
and my alarm clock’s clarion buzz
I did not recognize You among them
but You might have been there nonetheless

Last night I dreamt of her before I slept
last night I rolled with my burdens in my bed
last night I sprawled on my trove of ambitions
before I surrendered

Somewhere between the light shutting off and the cold cereal
I climbed a hill
passed grandparents prime ministers and pharaohs
dragging a stone slab behind me
staggering to a peak obscured in cloud
that rained ash and sulphur and the smell of oil

Last night I dreamt of her before I went to sleep
Not by her latest name
she has been unchristened
she is not forgiven fruit

and she follows wanderers in the desert

Somewhere between the pillow’s collapse and consciousness’ rush
As I scaled the mount
I witnessed a fierce wolf with galactic jaws
chained next to a knifing river with a ribbon formed
of a spirit’s spittle a seraph’s footfall and a ghost’s breath
ripping a dwarf star with its teeth

Last night I dreamt of trouble before I went to sleep
My lies’ feather weighs heavily against my heart
as the jury of my peers
imagines my trial
and I concoct an alibi for every faith and each infidelity

Somewhere beneath the bat’s first fall and the fresh socks
while I ascend the rock
a woman approaches with a fair face
but for the right half’s cadaverous pucker
the locks of seething hooded snakes
and her tail’s scorpion whip

Last night I dreamt of power before I went to sleep
From an obsidian tower I commanded
a babbling multitude
an army of rats with claxon pipes
and jealously drummed a monolithic name

Somewhere between my glasses’ encasement and my legs’ resurrection
I broke beneath the world on my shoulders
I gave up my load and the black mist entombed me
In the fog I saw my forebears divide
the hound retch up the sun
and the woman’s faces petrify each other

And my eyes opened to the sun

Until tomorrow night’s old miseries

I don't even understand what half of this means. I get most of it, but I'm sure not going to suggest it's supposed to be accessible. It's not a Hymn of Confusion, though it might be confusing. And it is pious . . . it's just really dark. Not what I usually write.

If you're looking for what inspired this nightmare (though it ends well, technically), see T. S. Elliot, Greek myth, Norse myth, Egyptian myth, Milton's PL, Biblical tradition, and fairy tales. But don't try too hard.

I don't even know what I'm supposed to make of this.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin