November 02, 2007

SLOUGH OF THE SEVEN TOADS

The elation of naming, that dispassionate
stance, of course it could not last. As all

first steps it was bound to lead to that first
misstep, that attenuated fall through ebony

branches into the Forest of Indifference. Oh
how to define the pain of it, the eclipse

of sky, the scales that seem to sprout
over oneís eyes, the petals of love-lies-bleeding

wilting in that thicket of night? Then a headlong
plunge into the slough of the seven toads

and there defiled by false iridescence, the barter,
the intrigue, the back and forth, that rough

exchange, the petty puffery of fame,
the flat inspection of their malachite eyes.

—Barbara Goldberg
____
Published in The Paris Review (from The Royal Bakerís Daughter,
forthcoming U. of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

Posted by dwaber at November 2, 2007 03:20 PM