“What’s that again?”

“There is for everything a season.” & you lurking
in the shade of dreams & fears must thus pray
for the break of sun; but finding none, hone
fables of the mind, & course the ichor

Through the mouth: There will be time, there will
be time….As spectres of eagles screech
you cower among spiders in your dark musty sty
recollecting ancestral skulls, shards of poems

That grappled with beasts of indecision & time:
How fare the old old ways? Have you gotten the best
of bargain? Have they sold you, buster, real shares?
Is this the deadend? What’s it you keep on saying?

What warriors chipped your fangs, lashed your skin?
How many secret ways to buy a fool, skin a cat?
& if prophets find the gutsy scorched & strung
must we just shrug & bewail times are planned

By universal chessmen mathematics verily damns?
This room is a flood of circles, dust, 14 times
dreams on themselves have sucked, until spat out
they wing out the windows of the whirring mind

Headless vultures never to return, less lunge:
How many masks in the fatal seizures of the night
slaying turning bereaving of bitches on the sly
steps & roadsigns on the circuit of rocks & lyre

Toward your arc of songs that we shall never ride
words never write, scale of roses, rain or rimes
that will never signify, & time time losing time
in the navel of the mind that breeds diamonds, rats

& mazes, scoresof demons in concentric whining—
O Everything is lost & done; & I, self-anointed seer
of the inner realm, am forced to open doors & stem
the flock of heathens in ceremony I’ve skinned:

I thus take heed of list again, the hill of thieves
for memory itself deceives, drapes beasts & gestures
with crystals of ice, words, & wrecks of hearts:
To each, miler, his own: he is on hassling hooked
She’s hitched, bastards are in exile living high
& my mind reels at the convex mirror: to excel
you crack the horoscope of fortune Ho-ho! but
Forget! None shall remember what you whispered

Ever did, for middling & vain from beginning to end—
survey speech & syntax—you will so Ho-ho! reek
Whom you have thrashed have forged their iron masks
groomed sphinx & sun, founts of wisdom & the Act

You bluster through your kind who shall in turn
call your bluster, you kind: you toss at windmills—
heraldry of epaulets & rusty shields—screaming
down the hall of mirrors spinning the comic scene

O the locusts of heart gnaw at their own barren hearts:
fist of dust, tail of coiled snake that consumes
earth stone & snake then in thunder of air expires:
Flee ancestral home, twist bars of windows for

Shafts of day, & find the faces you must find
in the labyrinth of caves, synagogue of rules stars
for the instant explodes in the twinkling of the eye,
is the rise of symbols, stone conceiving the ultimate

Tumult of your style…But hearing pretend I
this heart has long melted & scooting down the cellar
sidle to concelebration of rats who most bewail
the lower grade of jewels, this Gethsemane, this lair

Aie, amigo! Anong iyong hinarap, dinusa, ginawa
kundi magpanday ng Salita? Silang kaugnay sa Diwa
Ilan na lang ang nagtika, nagtiyaga? Anong iaawa,
itatangis kung ang itak ay sa sarili lamang itataga?

Night is heavy, dry, & the air of spell steers
the Gypsy moon, hanging low, to explode in bloom of fear:
Seek direction! In the west, tower of silence looms
& watchmen traversing the space of cocks & chair

Break the curtain of ice, flight of bats at the stairs,
knock on their pipes, as if to wheeze: Game game game!
Drink the dregs of time, wait for the assault of dawn
dogs shall escort falconers, warm your entrance—

O Sheets of paper that lie, like blots of powder,
are invisible eyes of blood dripping down the heart
& in the zone of men & danger, rats sprout wings
but slapped, quickly crash to earth in metallic weeping

Here then is the knight of mirror, castle of dreams
Quixote & madmen have squawked in their spleen:
History, your heart, your whims, may a dot relayed
but stars of your classic wit fizzle in the wings

& Fear lust virtue scales that stud the throat
are burn of diamond in storm of hiss & spittle
as alone, blasted at the bottom, you hold court
with pontiff of arcana, recurrence, mystic Swedenborg

For the moment of living, only for the moment live:
& chattering that seers of history will not remark
you let go of the lamp, burn off personal lines
while Furies weave on, & huntsmen scour the side

You’ve long turned blind, foraging in imagined woods
leading to this box, this architecture of desire
where lies Pandora, the secret key, necromancy of words
circle that infests your mind slowly turning to stone

Jeez! How judge restless heart? The inner journeys
ravage of the sign! Must I be weighed according to
scroll of men beholden to fathomed signs, whom I
in fealty cannot deny—O this personal logic, style

That must seek the word that must soothe the heart
that seeks the balm of wound, spear & time….
Never on your own mint virtue: in solitude the heart
only spans circumference of its own dry deliverance

There are deeper things in men, heaven than lines
you in senseless bouts have spawned: loss of years
of fame, of wisdom is mortality’s primeval dance
& time presages only return to anchorage of men

Still, how fathom fate & reason? Significance?
Having lost the inward balance, you keel over in mist
of scuttled ships & harbors tempests of time time
buried in the wake of sand O remembered only once

Your I, eremite, having grappled never with truer beasts
has languished in the gnarl of shadows, roots, leaves
crypt of words & words, straws of dreams, arabesques:
Thus, the sun is always drowned, nights long never done.

From Imaginary Russian Roulette, 1976

This entry was posted in POETRY OF EDEL GARCELLANO, selected by G.Y. Guillermo. Bookmark the permalink.

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