Ouroboric Tales

And where shall I look to praise you—above, below, within, without?
          —Corpus Hermeticum V:101


I do it with my mouth, image
into existence from splinters
of my Self vivid pictures no
one else’s consciousness can so

well at once and at will conjure
up for others to dismiss with
such ill will, filling in the blanks
of canvases no one else goes

to this trouble to spill wicked
pleasures across not caring at
all to cover their asses, risk
worth it to tell what will swallow

whole as I do now the finish
of all inhibitions you know.


What sweet end beginnings allow
soured him when it showed a certain
friend of hers how uncertain this
business is, how it showers

with wet kisses for a moment
those poetry’s muses bestow
with shivers, glimpses of genius
before it throws into obscure

shadows men more accustomed now
than they were then to being told
what to do, thrown out tomorrow
after being used to express

another’s worldview one somehow
confuses as their own, this mess.


Reticent as he was after
trespassing against tradition
in order to impress a set
of ears other than his own with

lyrics beyond his true talent,
when her devilish scent sent her
resentment’s bitter message through
its corpse’s nostrils, extinguished

fame came back to scavenge flesh for
a final taste of failed success,
his astonishment all splattered
with a novel and perverse bent

for this fetish where one offers
up to the present pasts bloodlet.


Dripping from lips fingertips press
as if it were any secret,
he bit his tongue the way Mayan
nobility did, red-feathered

serpents of corpuscles filling
with clouds of crimson a distress
of torn muscle and ligament
splintered blood vessels could weather

no longer or well, weeping hiss
and whisper into syllables
any author of such pain less
respectable might keep hiding

only to be unhid, as if
what he reveals heals inside him.

1Corpus Hermeticum V, “A discourse of Hermes to Tat, his son: That god is invisible and entirely visible”, [Verse] 10, in Brian P. Copenhaver’s Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a new English translation, with notes and introduction, published at Cambridge by Cambridge University Press in 2002; page 20.