RIFFING ON THE MERMAIDS

February 9, 2007 at 7:07pm (Poetry)

 I am dry and shriven, shaven of the head among the stars 

Abraham looked down upon and saw 

spread out like crumbs of bread  cast upon the water 

        (and Jill came tumbling after)  

An old man in an old bed 

         (”For God sakes, change the sheets,” she said.) 

a dry man in a damp place 

waiting for some signs of grace to appear 

at the bottom of the teacup, 

on the anvil of the ear, 

in the faceless face 

that time and time again 

(and again. and again. and again) 

                          – insistent as time; 

                          – inevitable as rhyme; 

crashes on my face like waves on rocks 

and leaks like blood from rocks 

from the corners of my eyes 

and the creases of my hand. 

         Ain’t it grand? Oh, ain’t it grand? 

this immoveable feast of sea and sand

 

spread out against the sky 

like a patient choking on the table. 

           (They are coins that were his eyes) 

And are we able? 

able to withstand 

the pearls that were his eyes 

buried in the sand? 

the promises and lies

 

clutched in a clinched hand, buried in the sand? 

       (Beware the Jabberwock, my son, 

the eyes that peel, the hands that scratch; 

beware the Jubjub thug and shun 

the luminous Bandersnatch) 

      — Oh, ain’t it grand, boys? 

      — Ain’t it grand?

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