In Love and in Life

Oh Love! no habitant of earth thou art—
          An unseen seraph, we believe in thee,
                    A faith whose martyrs are the broken heart[.]


                    The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree
          I planted,—they have torn me,—and I bleed:
I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.

י ‘Ora, lege, lege, lege, relege, labora et invenies’2

          In love and in life we believe
          as does any alchemist worth
          a drop of his sulphur, salt, and

          mercury, that an elixir
          is but a stone comprised of two
          or more constituent tinctures

          a drink blood and sweat mixed with tears
          we sink in the presence of our
          shadow Selves, between the silver

          and the mirror, where we divide
          slivers of shattered hearts into
          distinct pictures of who we are

ה The First Material Is the Fifth Element

          flickering images obscene
          fires pile onto the heights of pyres
          whose laughter of flames obscures our

          inner wealth of such unknown depth
          smoke filling frames when sudden death
          proves too much for audiences

          who test heaven’s executives
          challenging them by punching holes
          in the original version

          of our ending’s plot, burning
          through pools of drivel to touch what
          little part of us reflects their

ו ‘Pray, read, read, read, reread, work, and [you will] discover [it]’3

          own struggle, our distant glamour
          no matter how much admired from
          afar, can offer Narcissists

          no better option than to drown
          since lovelorn souls, we whose very
          bones have been sworn over to this

          world’s confraternity of starved
          and faithless hordes, hunger without
          remorse or pity to devour

          again and again what we sold
          those morals without which no man
          stands a chance of ever fending

ה Plant Stoned Until the Bitter Ens

          off the power of his perverse
          laws, a kingdom unto himself
          circumstance is for all that most

          unspiritual of gods who
          misdirects our destiny’s course
          coheirs, as we are, of its curse

          galley slaves throwing off the chains
          of our Christian names, fugitives
          rowing away from his calling

          us ashore, defectives never
          again falling for love’s allure
          working instead toward its cure.

1Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, A Romaunt, “Canto the Fourth”, Stanza 121, Lines 1081–1083 and Stanza 10, Lines 88–90, respectively, in Lord Byron: The Major Works: Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jerome J. McGann, published at Oxford by Oxford University Press in 2008; pages 183 and 151.
2This aphorism, a rare instance of text in the “Mute Book”, appears on “Plate Fourteen” in “The Fifteen Plates of the Mutus Liber with Descriptive Summaries” of Adam McLean’s A Commentary on the Mutus Liber, published at Grand Rapids, MI by Phanes Press in 1991; pages 42–43.
3Translation, from the Latin, of the aphorism on the fourteenth plate of the Mutus Liber, by Mark Stavish in “[Chapter] Three: Creating a Plant Stone: Leaching Salts: Method I” of The Path of Alchemy: Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic, published at Woodbury, Minnesota by Llewellyn Publications in 2014; page 51.