Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two poems by Leonore Wilson

Lucifer Before the Fall
    after Thomas Nash, Pierce Penniless, His Supplication to the Divell

He was a clear body once, pure bright
air, invisible, hidden,
so imagine not being mattery,
how boring it would be like carbon monoxide
crawling into the mouth
of one waiting for death, the gentle
transparent poison or fall out
of plutonium bastardizing the children
of Hiroshima, Nagasaki,…
Better the angel be veiled
with a grosser substance
that the human eye can see,
a form dark and thick,
emsulsifiable as milk or oil,
better to be insatiable
than ignorant, disturbing the divisions
of space, undisciplined Eve,
impetuous as pipe and harp,
better to barbeque like St. Joan
loving the faggots’ blaze,
the hangman’s match, the pyre’s
chaos; better to have the eye-lids
fully open when the child’s head
crowns and the pain of the cut
vulva burns, better to be awake
then dozing like Adam,
to be a part of Lucifer’s flesh,
his narcissism because to fall
from Heaven is the beginning
of beauty, is the start of the dark
fecundity on earth, for his
descent was not a waste
but comfort of tongue and reed,
this forgotten god, twin
brother of our own bones’ bloom.

Translucent Body
“Not to find myself touching the other side of transparency, but my own transparency.” Clarice Lispector on the Berne Cathedral

A few shine in the great dark of the Pacific--
   sprawl over the pitted limestone, the nipped sand

in the silence so that they make the scars glow as they pour
   over the grooves and striations like holy chrism

on the sick, the infirmed--- creatures soft as infant-flesh,
    fontanels, transparent as Lucifer before he fell

from the heavens—disc of the god-body as it dissolves on the palate….

Ah, eye-lid of Christ, morning glories languish among the bluegrass
   as what touches the heart refracts the light

so tenderness shines deep-kneeled in song like the dividing pearl-cell
   of the amnion. I listen to Schumann’s arabesque

at dusk, to the boy-artist Kismet as he touches the white keys then the black,
   and he heals the ineffable mystery of each small sorrow I’ve

kept; he loves my child-dark thoughts encouraging me to walk wild
   into estuaries, to fix myself like the moon-jellyfish, the cat’s eye 

inured to the ocean’s brunt, inured to the blowouts of my mother’s anger
   and my mother’s fists, so that I am the crescendo of the waves

themselves—emptied, exiled—and flourish as the old hermits of Egypt did,
   those who dug their own graves, and wept in them daily so they’d never get lost….

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