August 13, 2008

The Sneeze

Fergus, the poet, lone in his cell,
hunched over his little deal table, intent
on creating his song, what he alone knew.
At one horny hand stood Seamus, the skull,
with quills in his noseholes, watching as ink
blotches and grace notes pied parchment sheets.

Fergus’ huck robe was stiff with the reek
of dried-up excretions—nosedrips and sweat—
old pain and raptures from stanzas long past.
A bright bone-white sunglare came through the window slit;
fumes of high-holiness rose to the rafters‹
gathered and hung in the cold upper air.

He and the sun considered the vapors,
watched color and form curl and float through the gloom.
Billows and shapes swirled bright in the moment,
floating above them, with soft feathered edges:
roses and raspberries, cherries and grapes,
rubies, geraniums, scarlet balloons.

Round luscious girleens, golden-haired, laughing;
tumbled in cartwheels, flushed with delight;
floating around him, pink and inviting.
round luscious girleens, roses, geraniums,
loose and delirious, cherries, tomatoes;
luscious round bottoms and rosy round breasts;

trilling mad music, enfolding him sweetly;
vaulting and springing and singing and shrill‹
laughing and singing and louder — and shrieks.
Blotches and scribbles of bright blood on sweet flesh;
pink girleens pinned in the dark thorny thickets
sprouting from sleeves of smelly brown huck.

for one timeless moment the cell soared and hung there;
eyes of cold flint scattered nacreous sparks.
Then something shuddered, the dripping pen fell.
Seamus the skull, through a thicket of quills,
watched Fergus, the flame, stir and squirm on his stool,
shift pages, sigh gently, and turn to his song.

Fergus picked up his quill; bent over his page.
The truth of cold truth pervaded the cell.
A cooling sun flickered, faded, went out.

—Maggie Morley
Note: Alan Watts called the orgasm "the sneeze in the loins."
Also note: One can encourage a slow-developing sneeze by staring into bright

Posted by dwaber at 03:54 PM

August 12, 2008


Poetry is the mysterious associate
     I introduce to a few
     friends and acquaintances.

Poetry wears an ascot to hide
     the throat hole, the source of the song
     since the operation.

Poetry is the enigmatic emissary,
     always difficult,
     always elusive.

Poetry is my comforter,
     wrapping a motley mantle
     about my swiveling ears.

Poetry is my lover —
     mine      only —
     though nothing is ever declared.

Poetry is my silent advisor,
pointing with trembling excitement
     to the flowering moon,
     to the green streaks in old granite.

Poetry is my inscrutable opponent
     putting tigers in my path,
     disturbing my earthly devotions.

Poetry is a courier of insight
     the journey often oblique,
     the message artful in its simplicity.

Poetry delivers its truth
     just as the oracle does,
     long after I have passed by.

—Maggie Morley

Posted by dwaber at 02:23 PM

August 11, 2008

13 WAYS (more or less)

               After Wallace Stevens

The poet seeks the desert
     for its rare oasis;
seeks the company
of the bushman
     for his water knowledge.

The poet’s soul
     is an old, slow camera.

The liver
     is a liver-shaped organ;
The poet’s song
     is a song-shaped essence.

The planet implodes at zero hour;
The poet’s eyes close — open.

The poet, like the bishop,
Is a courier of insight
     Always moving obliquely

On the road to Damascus,
the wrathful believer
meets the poet
     and becomes him.

Reaching into the wretch’s gut,
     the poet pulls out rubies.

A saint and a scoundrel are one;
a saint and a scoundrel and a poet
     are one.

In the bog’s brown dark,
     the poet sees a thousand colors.

The poet is a company of actors
     all in one costume.

The poet, like truth,
     is a vagrant entity —
     a mutable subject.

The sage rides by,
     whipping his camel;
the poet savors the attendant stinks.

The poet approaches me
     with my face in his eyes.

The guests are assembled
     in the library;
only the poet
     knows who done it.

Looking up
at a vacant sky,
the poet points to the bird —
     marvels at its subtle markings.

All other options exhausted,
the poet releases
     a shrapnel of songbirds.

—Maggie Morley

Posted by dwaber at 03:06 PM