Unfired Phœnix

This I know from the native
Tongue of your translating eyes.

Extinguishers of dreams, exact and exquisite, getting-off stonewalling guys they

give blue balls, those cerulean eyes falling like titanic marbles
are trying my patience, adding to it like a vengeance
perseverance I need more than ever, drying like crustaceans waking

beached from wet dreams, a sleep sweeping up tears mistaken
for debris, this is pain you make elegant, you makers
of martyrs lying in the style of brickwork a viscid

thickness of salty words blown through ivory teeth, your efforts
tickle from me animosity I know I need to replace
with your kind of luminosity, as if we were suddenly

again kids playing god hired to execute convincingly the difficulty
of peeling a pomegranate, to perform without conceding to the
absurdity of its conceit the great work of reminding losers

backing their assertions with bets that being kinder than just-kind-enough
knows no nuance, in abundance a paradox: it takes less
strength to be strong than it does to put on

that mask no true hero can don, tragicomedic tragedians miserable
bandits thieving moments which have already passed, gagged by bags
of speech that balloon into expletive nothingness what gets trashed

under humourless little captions that speak volumes, muted callers crawling
through radio silences, wearing only an amber nimbus, a crucifix,
and a bad attitude, too long have I been thus

costumed, my own caricature all Judæo-Heretical and antiphonal, circumcised in
spirit, cut-off from it, too wed, instead, to the flesh,
that is until I immolate in my own breast a

heart giving up the ghost of a Self in which,
for too long a solipsist, I have cultivated a sick
interest, imbalanced and leaning too often toward indifference, waking as

I am in sweat to vestigial images of hireling lovers
wearing on their harlequin sleaves the heart-shaped stains of dark,
dark night crusting into a sacred narrative I seek now

to deprive of my belief, I am no longer that
clown, but laughing at how stronger is the flame when
it changes one’s familiar into a stranger, before all four

of our eyes let us watch as we throw under
the wheels of our chariot this basilisk creature whose only
real danger is his gaze, taking on the armour of

warring saints, wagering my happiness no longer with the trickster
whose game has been to play me, come, my perfect
match, let us throw kerosene on my doppelgänger and like

salamander kings gyrate our supplications to heaven as we dance.

1Dylan Thomas, “Unluckily for a death”, [Stanza 4, Lines 50–51], in The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas: Original Edition: Introduction by Paul Muldoon, published at New York by New Directions in 2010; pages 115–116.