A Poet Quoting a Poet to a Poet

We are, in fact, ensphered by our own atmospheres, emanated by ourselves.


As David defeated Goliath by
seduction, the beauty of my art is
designed to respond to my own desire,
not to be corrupted or defined by
another, if its audience is no
one, its message is nothing strangers can
quote from or mention in conversation
with each other, a reflection of some
thing I admire, nameless and vain, safe from
the repulsion of unsolicited
buyers commodifying the spirit
of this object I contrive to revive
by putting my finger on the pulse of
whenever I weather without applause
what doctors, who are not artists, call this
affliction, this pit of obsidian
spitting up coughs of volcanic glass we


know now as those splintered shards of a man’s
fragmented personality, his wolf,
Narcissism is a pathology he
wears out as if creativity were
a label worth all the trouble he has
invested in expressing himself so
boldly, I have been him, mined from shallow
holds embargoed cargoes, adventitious
wealths of verboten hopes my plangent mouth
made common, broadcasting but never once
telegraphing the secrets of my own
solitudes and sufferings, a garden
amidst fires like a poet quoting a
poet to a poet, what I hide from
no one is that I am inspired by some
thing I admire in the mouth of what was
before I came into being, seeing


in the stone at the bottom of the well
of his throat what the giant’s head has been
telling since the beginning, that the beast
is within and wants to be fed if it
cannot be freed, this is what he said to
me and what I seek to accomplish when
I reach in my pocket with fingers drawn
like columns falling without fail onto
its spine, calling for my notebook as if
its leather covers were skin concealing
a sling and my words were stones, the pen I
hold a piece of weaponry powered by
the lubricity of my mind’s vicious
machinery, operating with free
agency, relentless, unrepentant,
and dangerous, as if every last
reader were my first enemy, a new


meaning for “target audience”, those few
who understand this quandary as well,
this wound picking away at itself as
if hell needed a new vent and my voice
was the only sound insignificant
enough to fill its hole, this loud void I
carve into my heart to trepan the soul,
a sculptor armed with an arsenal of
a biography’s more marketable
artifice at my disposal and I
defile with a smile what others revere,
is it the artist or iconoclast
they revile when they accuse my statements
of making them uncomfortable? To
take down with one blow their cards’ tower is
to reduce to babble whatever faith
they misplaced in the sacred truth of their


mistake’s ancient and improbable myth,
the gamble of wit’s lightning strike on which
I bet whenever I put out there what
no one else will publish, confessing for
selfish needs what is already known to
this craft’s initiates, that dramatic
pauses for sinister purposes do
no one any justice when every
one of us endures the same old madness,
cylindrical cynics, waxwork relics
collecting dust shaken from the shady
derision of visitors’ dirty looks,
vapid basket cases cycling through spin,
embracing a real museum piece of
a medium only we freaks care to
preserve, always hurting from searching for
catharsis in our own breath, cheating death.

1Dion Fortune, “[Chapter] 13. The Motives of Psychic Attack: Part I” in “Part III: The Diagnosis of a Psychic Attack” of Psychic Self-Defense: New Edition, published at San Francisco, CA by Weiser Books in 2001; page 151.