Prolog of a Dog

 [Poetry], The Sword Inside  Comments Off on Prolog of a Dog
Aug 292011
 

This is an epic: shrunk, crabbed, and small,
Full of false-effects, self-pity, the merely personal,
A Don Juan who lambastes not the passing scene
But all that has-been Juan may be, or is, or has been.
Where more loving looks would gloss a blemish
The critic's eye inscribes a scar to cherish,
For every jot that takes away from fame, frame, or form
Bolts the sniping critic thus much more above the norm.

I spy inside to sight with telescopic sighs
The whys of my feelings' reasons:
Interloper on a landscape without seasons
-- Why are such thoughts always such internal messes?
Insistent blots and bleeding
Awful as a Rorsach reading?
Or are summer ladies in their swaying dresses
The carnal cause of my distresses?
(Your guess is as good as I guess my guess is.)

Love's each word confirms what I suspect:
Disaster's the master, and we but the guests.
She sheds no sigh for any man's part,
Whether the nether gender or simply his heart.
On Time's high hill my glass house lies sheer,
White licked-together ice panes as thin as tears---
I'll throw nothing as improbable as rocks
But must content my anger by flinging dirty socks.

When confronted by the bare barbarity
Of a too-intimate, too-personal personal history
The titillating crowd contracts a gassy gasp
Into the actor's ruination of  a yawn.
Put away the hugs, unclench the hearty clasp,
Poke about for the folded rulebook on Badminton
Or dewy martinis not cleared away at dawn,
Any of last season's or last night's amenable diversions,
No worse for the weather on the party lawn.

"But I have a tale to tell you!" he told the mirror
As a minor chord played in the castle dreary,
And like a lawyer at a settlement
Between heavenly disputants temporarily hellbent
He unpacked his tale like a holy relic. 
He tried, when talking, talking about his happenstance
To concentrate Pure Mind from nominal Space.
Somehow somewhere something means something
As we fill with ephemeral words our eternal dumbness.

And ever the bleak bitterness of Love is present,
Awkward to forget, awkwarder to remember,
A golden goose whose taste has turned to pheasant:
Sour to eat, but the killing's pleasant.
Leaning with a highpower scope on my pickup's fender,
I forget at once who was the first offender.
A kiss is just a kiss, for all our wishing
And love is just another way for brains to say "gone fishing."
And yet what hopes are harbored in a sigh
To which all the pall of History can't manage to give the lie?
And somehow behind Love's final curtain
The essential something-nothing of ourselves is lurking.

To say that these things are only so,
That, in the course of life, such heinousness is usual
Is to dodge the lodging dart that conscience pricks
And with our green tequilas reel 
About the empty garden like a crypt.
It doesn't make much difference
If you're in the Congo, Buenos Aries, or France
Time can add no savor but regret
To what the hand has done, what heart inflicts.

Yet I may say, like the newscaster at six "Once
Upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away
I loved." Such a rare occurrence
Can't be measured by existential stirrings and segues:
It's the internal turnings of that monster Fate
That makes our mousing loves or hatreds great.
Is my mauve eagle of presidential pinion,
Or am I but a seraph's wingman?
Public puffs and public scrapes
Suck divinest wines back to earthy grapes.