The Sayer and the Soothed

                    For Simon, from the Magus—
                    and for those who know
                    that simony is rarely
                    ever so simple—

And they listened eagerly to him because
for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
                    —Acts 8:111

Poetry is that talismanic
art, like a tree that bridges heaven
and earth, the holy wood whose splinters
warn the world when orchids are eating
themselves, that pornographic priestess
living by lamplight, denying Christ

to take up the banner of a far
older science, prescience of the
Universal Consciousness our souls
each retain, our genes are strands of pain
that cannot make a braid until our
veins open into three dimension-

al space and pull tight their plait, fulfill-
ing their fate and assuaging our plight
when, once taut, they tear and spill what life’s
force paints red the empty space between
Venus and Mars, Love and War, boy and
girl—where Tiresias found out more

than he bargained for, an alchemic-
al cosmology beneath her skirt,
how the world dances without aband-
oning her principles, her parting
gift of a kiss more like a grimoire
than an aide-memoire, putting its en-

chiridion of myth to good use
ever since, creating and destroy-
ing my Self, in prison and in
chains for agnostical Euterpe-
tude, having maimed my Muse with new wounds
of too many questions to old an-

swers, no magic can discourage a
man from seeking to fill the empty
seat of vacant love, no matter what
lessons imploring his learning, art-
ists will follow red-haired torches of
women slowly burning like ancient

tortoises through orchards their hands de-
vour, turning through mazes we come to
wish were labyrinths, our talents por-
tals instead of tombs, our tongues more than
what move mouths—such perils afflict both
the sayer & the soothed, words choosing us.

1“The Acts of the Apostles”, Chapter 8, Verse 11, in “The New Covenant Commonly Called the New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: New Revised Standard Version” of The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 1989; page 131.