Argus-Eyed in the Phœnix Nest


Plucking at the bedclothes, intent
on inheriting anything
but their contempt for each other’s
parents’ vulnerabilities,
at home at the extremities,

a hundred lazy eyes wake, wink
their wingless way into flightless
dawn, a famine of hungry young
flying along a fire’s obscured
horizon vultures call false fog,

this smog is neither smoke nor some
warning, a signal to get out
now and get on, going too far
above toward the sun to be
comfortable with being called


themselves, having had enough by
the time hell’s howl has closed its mouth,
having spit out the birth of day
whose candle they blow on whistling
flame, blue streaks of scorching stain, from

between splintered beaks leaking thin
trails of tunes monotony breaks
under the weighty beats of which to
be consumed, melodious and
vicious sacrifices stitching

with hounds’ teeth a new cloak for night,
in the limitless white of this
net’s wireless web is born again
a generation complaining
of being sick of this myth, of


having to live over again
without end immortality’s
gig, of always becoming what
they have already been, their own
fathers returning home only

to be burned, burying their heads
Argus-eyed in the phœnix nest
the way cigarettes enter sand,
indifferent, brightness ending
in tongues of embers fed-up to

death with perpetual lives they
have already lived, still lit for
no audience but the Eye of
Providence, god watching all from
behind his triangle halo,


igniting to full indigo
three elbows of neon telling
them to get bent, cornering them
in this perfect pocket of light
too uxorious to be one’s

prison, so they take sight of what
they will not take as a wife, raze
this prism with basilisk vision
and from wisdom’s ashes paint on
tragedy’s blank faces, making

themselves up like sacrifices
so they, who see all, can relate
in some way, to people, mortals
unlike them, bald and chained, sentenced
to a fate they cannot change, in


this bed destined to remain, kept
like men who cannot but nourish
the thirst of spread-eagled higher
powers, eager daughters of lust
who, as if goddesses in their

own right, curse and keep them as pets,
filling these pages with feathers
which fall and they catch and use as
quills is the only thing stilling
the poison of their kisses, flames

whose passion bleeds, making them weak,
keeping them from killing in their
sleep these dreams of theirs, of being
seen, for once, for what they are: birds
whose paradise is a love song.