Heaven Joins with Fire


Knowing that the poet’s job is • to produce symbols, that the vulgar • act of explaining them falls, instead, • to others, perhaps I tarnish my • charm the way “Sweeney” does in • Anne Sexton’s eponymous poem, tripping over • my Self to attempt to impress • one already gone, every wound an • initiation gate, a pylon in the • temple of the body, inward the • altar where heaven joins with fire, • an eater of sin enters, eager • with hunger, seeking its devouring spark, • retreating far from needing to be • seen as better-off, he falls hard • for the unlettered, guttural call into • the dark halls of my sanctuary • subconscious, that wandering sarcophagus my reason • sleeps in, stumbles in and out • of as if dreaming of some • cleaner flesh to be in, never • stopping to question why this is • the journey it believes in, walking • through a mist of thoughts working • the terrible magic of their mystical • art through walls of hieroglyphs I • (s)crawl, my fingertips poorly-fathered scoundrels, foul-weathered • angels feathered with quill-pricks, mercurial digits • dripping with spirit-quickening ink counting on • a single drop’s Byronic possibility of • making millions think, nemesis Orpheus whose • •


every loss is a surrogate Eurydice, • I talk so much of my • Self to cover up how even • I don’t want it, or to • try to like it, as it • now is, or has been, my • only constancy will from now on • be to always be changing, wanting • only to be comprehended by an • audience of one who never responds • the way I wanted, the conceit • of this concept ritual eyes with • turquoised contempt whenever I give in • to publishing its imperfections, instead of • lying outright to the thrall, tongue • thrumming against the drum-skin of my • pulsating skull to break-in pain’s game-changing • breakthrough it appals, to create room • for new blessings, or what we’ll • call new dressings for the old • ones, I need to empty out • this vessel, to draw forth what • falls hard, hemorrhaging words, a crack • in the shell becomes an oracle, • a pen siphons the heart’s well, • drinking in suffering the way danger • secretes adrenalin, empowering a movement of • clouds to question why, for so • long, thunderclaps obscured the song coming • down so softly from some humbled • god’s holy mountain resounding with calm.