The phonographs of hades in the brain
Are tunnels that re-wind themselves, and love
A burnt match skating in a urinal—


                    In the foothills where sex
          vied with asceticism for my
                    faith, ‘Trust your magic but

take no chances,’ said the
sage, ‘Make no mistakes,’ lust
is a game, a vampiric
sculptor making of desire a
sphinx with the intention of
giving it life, an angel
whose form is a pyramid
of light, taking from you

yours to worship a riddle
the way a spliced film’s
divorce of frames at once
splits amœba-like and still performs,
the zygote of an idea
thirsts for the controversy by
which it germinates and thrives,
divides many and yet unites


some of its audience, resents
and envies even more an
editor’s knife, gets cut and
survives, becoming love’s enemy is
the role it serves, the
great work it performs, is
sin’s admission price, which is
why I want these poems

of mine to be made
into silent ones, to be
immortalized in the spirit of
a moment, to serialize the
æthereal I find where others
see only the trivial, to
translate sighs into movies whose
points of view summon it

up well, while what I
want to haunt me without
ever again vanishing, that lonely
hunter who wanders my heart
with wailing travail the way
Cain does ever since he
did in Abel, or so
the Bible tells, manages somehow


to prevail and reveal to
us all just how, this
is why I howl, to
awaken and be awakened by
the divine within, if not
canonized then haloed by an
ineffable light, to be recognized
not by sounds but signs,

as a haunting flickering of
images hinting at something sinister
hiding inside of us all,
that quintessence whose element plots
our downfall, that seed whose
desire begets a confraternity of
the faithless, as Wilde termed
this penal club for unrepentant

exiles, subject as we degenerates
are to these conditions, wicked
initiates of unlove which forces
us to face its consequences
as individuals, and pay for
having tasted what lays waste
to and destroys our tribe,
weeping secrets known only to


their viewers, unvoiced hurts bruising
oft-touched flesh with invisible words
reading without telling what we
refuse to see of the
evil in our Selves, such
unlove a symptom of seeking
too often the crippling touch
of what we can never

have enough, that venomous itch
which sits coiled at the
base of one’s spine, spiteful
of being smitten again by
the wrong affection I bite
with my bitterness every man
before I can become their
next victim, an eremitical scholar

of hermeticism perhaps now too
hyper-vigilant, too over-protective of something
strictly hypothetical, I live like
a lighthouse keeper in the
contemplative seclusion of my temple’s
tower, a cultural vulture opportunistic
and fatal as a viper,
influential as a whisper, elusive


as a vapour, precariously perched
on the precipice of what
I can only hope is
real wisdom, but what light
am I keeping and what
have I to hide any
longer? Why should I suffer
by my own design? It

can’t be wisdom since loneliness
won’t ever pass for ascetic
solitude, not without an adjustment
of attitude and the addition
of intention to the equation,
suffering is only ever in
season when it isn’t self-imposed
but sanctioned by those whose

understanding transcends our own, sent
from below as if from
above to lead us on,
the triumph of those whose
sorrow knows them better only
than they know how such
things go, tragic is this
hour with its heavy hand,


suffering’s one very long moment,
again in Oscar’s parlance of
forbearance, throwing down like a
rope, in the passing of
judgment against transgression, understanding from
which I can make an
attempt at either a noose
or transcendence, going out getting

tangled in the net of
temptation or exchanging its torrid
habit’s torment for the ritual
robes of true comprehension, improving
my condition, rising above my
so-called situation, by being open
to being slain in the
moment, swallowing instead of choking

on the pain of love’s
opposite, which is only but
a part of the same
soul broken by Cupid’s dart
into halves seeking to be
made whole, everything I create
is dedicated to this belovèd
in whose name I say


these things to the world,
sharing each layer I shed
as if every leaf of
these lines were a letter
addressed to him, and curious
strangers its worthiest couriers furiously
eager to bear, on beating
wings, what fruit I bare

in so hurried a hand
up the branches of the
tree of life, each vein
I open a path for
my pen to trace, each
rein I drop freeing a
tributary, a river road, for
him to take back to

                    me what he left with
          when we took our liberties
                    and both fell from grace.

1Hart Crane, “[Part] VII[.] The Tunnel” of The Bridge, [Stanza 10, Lines 58–60], in “Poems of Hart Crane” of Complete Poems of Hart Crane: Edited by Marc Simon, published at New York by Liveright in 2001; pages 98–99.