Nocturnes, with Fires

[F]or the immortal gods, you see,
are not permitted tears upon their cheeks[.]


Gutter-mouthed machismo
machine gunning it to
death, hitting home the point
that this is not something
he’s ready to accept,
no, not yet, but not quite
clueless, elusive, yes,
yet much aware of it,
the seductive snare of
The Other, my own lost
father an exotic
stranger standing stranded
on my narrow sphere’s red,
hazy periphery,
more contrapposto in
my bled memory than
ever witnessed in drab
reality, his bad
attitude the ammo
of unexpressed anguish

languishing without words
so languidly in my
angry little heart’s more
miserable vault, that
volatile part of me
stocked like an armoury,
and because of this same
inheritance as mine
I find no reluctance,
no difficulty in
reconciling his with
your unsolicited
criticism, my husband
the very image of
extinction vanquishing
everyone’s bitter-
thinking expectation
by continuing to
go on living in spite
of them, a vandalized

prime specimen of self-
scandalizing for hordes
every sentiment
of society’s deep,
deep reverence for all
things decency, yes, from
the unrepentant hell
of summer’s lamenting
cement to the soothing-
cool caress of seventh
heaven’s high firmament,
a species of desire
bred by difficulty
feeds on the ravenous
necessity of such
a bastard to be seen,
hence our wars’ connection:
the very mention of
what has been damaging


a blessing uniting
his obscenity with
my vanity, by torch-
light entering into
some covenant darker
than dawn, but not night, dusk
unwelcomed in sight of
someone so bright brilliant
ideas might expire
before their time, combust
in so uninvited
but so dazzling a fight,
a catalyst to jump
like a spark from comfort
and confront in the jaws
of its truth’s explosion
the foreboding shark of
the reluctant prophet
in us all swallowing
whole those fools we are whose

refusal to answer
god’s awful call is that
kick in the balls, the punch
in the gut, the fist in
the mouth bowling over
under its juggernaut
pull we who cannot but
walk through the flames before
we learn to crawl, fires of
whatever divine light
our betters claim we are,
tears of martyrs bawling
bull and prayers of saints all
just idolatrous talk
until like me, I lose
all faculty of speech
when finally I meet
the misunderstood one
I’ve always wanted to
be with, sine waves of my

played-out chaotic vibe
silenced as if by knives
like a radio’s throat
opened and emptied out
behind enemy lines,
love’s violins muted,
was confused to find it
here in him, to confront
the myth I had to learn
to burn before I could
heal then move on and teach
another being these
secret things never taught
but given like grace or
punishment to misfits,
that strangest sacrament
administered to them
that moment when running
from, becomes running to,
emotions we grow through.

1Ovid, “The raven and the crow” in “Book II: Of Mortal Children and Immortal Lusts”, [Lines 863–864], of Metamorphoses: Translated and with Notes by Charles Martin: Introduction by Bernard Knox, published at New York by W. W. Norton & Company in 2005; page 77.