Bleu cendres

                    Moreover, my dear friend,
          it is impossible for me to turn my back on my muse;
it sweeps me along, forces me to write despite myself and,
no matter what people may do to try to stop me,
          there is no way they will ever succeed.
                    —De Sade1

                                                  Make me a willow cabin at your gate
                                        And call upon my soul within the house,
                              Write loyal cantons of contemnèd love,
                                        And sing them loud even in the dead of night[.]


                    Turn the ashes into a smile,
cinders hinting upon truth snow
smoke while sitting next to nothing,
hiding the pile, wiping away
the moral from the fable, fumes
crucifying on a choking
tree the one beast incapable
of keeping peace, man’s the one flake
who cares, wears a collar of farce,
a costume of concern, down to
the heart, darkening his soul for


                    miles as he pours forth into earth
verses no one’s mouth burns to hear,
churning out confessions no one’s
arteries pump to perform, blurred
pom-poms of pain no one’s hard-core
porn routine learns to care about
or climb pyramids for, this loud
nearly extinct pompous thing that
prefers to be oblivious,
to remain made and unaware,
to be cheered on, came upon, and


                    championed, to become oh-so
American, unwilling to
bare what haunts him, to thaw what wants
him near the core, ambergris stench
of human failure floating close
to shore, what sends to frank frenzy
all the boors and the bored, their end
beginning to burn again this
vacant being none but gangs of
demagogues finding something worth
mining in mountains of nothing.

1Marquis de Sade, letter “To Abbé Amblet” [April(?) 1784], “Letter 94” in “Part Two: Letters from the Bastille” of Letters from Prison: Translated and with an Introduction and Epilogue by Richard Seaver, published at New York by Arcade Publishing in 2011; pages 359–360.
2William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Act I, Scene 5, Lines 257–260, Viola to Olivia, in The Complete Works: Compact Edition, edited by Stanley Wells, Gary Taylor, John Jowett, and William Montgomery with introductions by Stanley Wells, published at Oxford by Clarendon Press in 1989; page 697.