Nebuchadnezzar in Winter


Seven Years in the Wild

                                        Lovers listed more easily by number
than by name, census takers sense my lack of
shame and cautiously walk my heart’s numb path with
     softly-swung thuribles, censing away with
          solemn vigour (and yanked chains) my solitude’s

pain that faded Luciferian glamour
stains, opening veins, mundane collisions of
fallen celestial sparks crackle with unveiled
     satisfaction as filaments fizzle, their

dance’s incendiary art scratching back
from my mythos more purity and hope than
is necessary, the (w)horrific scope of
     destiny’s lustre less luminous as trust
          in its power proves powerless against this

assessment of my soot-blackened soul (weighted
not in gold, but in goals), these measurers of
my worth and my mouth’s work thorough, collecting
     confessions to find out whether my lust was,

in fact, as I’ve long professed and protested,
transgressive/transcendent, or attempted for
its own sake, love not cultivated but made,
     and so, as priests and ploughmen mow my mansion’s
          terraces of their leafy timbres, unvoiced

choices chance escape, brazen cascading tongues
of oxidized copper min(t)ing emerald-
coloured words they coin as they confer with chaste
     plasterers who sanitize (and shatter) my


No Opponent from Horizon to Sky

                                        world’s glasses, half-full with awful illusions
I swill as they swirl, revealing my madness
and its routes, uncouth truths trespassing my throat,
     shouting and shooting through this placid garden
          of stone(d) beasts bested by reason’s razor-eared

thieves stealing from its plastic pageant this feared
secret, this weakest of wills my façade failed,
in my ordeal’s end, to conceal and weakness
     wed to hubris breeds worthlessness, so with this

quivering fist I abuse my Self and hit
them dead with a bullet-pointed list, pithy
rejoinders of wit, little white li(n)es punched out
     like farcical Morse, holes pricked without pity
          by (t)his code of silence I find, in such bold

moments, suffices to hide what bleeding hurt
everyone likes to believe my evil
words describe, that before tonight’s impromptu
     Inquisition I testified to this type

of life, one not lived but sculpted by lies, and
for once, in the face of temptation’s jaws, I
pried apart a roar and made pliant my plea,
     and not with hand but mind pulled forth this forlorn
          thorn from out my own paw, and without any

trepidation de(i)fied that desert’s lion,
undermining all of his thrall—and though sore,
looking sin in its blackened eye, I laughed—and
     I survived—expanding my kingdom’s borders.