Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Incubus







Incubus

Late at night
when sleep's a joke
told for hours without a punchline
the incubus comes by.

It’s a wild
but comforting thing; the horns
hardly show and it knows
how to make the tail
so useful 
but sometimes
the goat eye slants
and pins me to the bed,
the cleft foot
burns where it walks
on my chest;
but still

I laugh like a fool 
for the nights
you come to me, brined with
memory, slick with salt.

June 2011



Companion piece to Incubus II,


20 comments:

  1. Strange comfort, this old goat. You create such a scene, when all is possible in the dark, and laughter is scary.

    Those are some marvelous labels.

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  2. My favourite so far of all I've read at OSP.
    This is intelligent, perceptive and written with a brilliant economy of language.

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  3. I laugh through all of the nights, sleep is for the daylight where no incubus comes to walk on my chest.

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  4. well now, some fun word play in there....using the tail and all, pinned to the bed...i can hear rather maniacal laughing

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  5. Incubus...so nasty, but love the poem. Maybe the poem can defeat her?

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  6. Ah the tags, semaphoring that this old beastie has become a companion, its darkness calcinated by so many verbal baths (or is it just the sum of all the times it has emerged from a sea of tears?) Demon lover too, like a lifelong love one can never quite shake or jilt or tell it to scram in the name of Mary Magdalene. A case of you: sometimes we just can't get enough of these old bearers of love jones. (Were you in Chicago when "Me and Mrs. Jones" was torch song for ghetto winter?) Zeus had a headache and gave birth to Athena; Hedgewitch has a midnight heartache and gives birth to that infant tyrant Love who's both Caliban and Ariel. BeelzeBubba Fancy Dancer and and Lyric Fancy Hootchie Coo hisself. Two rows of fangs and a heart-shaped fanny tat from the peanut gallery. - Brendan

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  7. Thanks all. Odd things come when you call at 3:00 am.

    @Ruth The art of the label--I feel the poets of the past have sorely missed out having nothing but titles and invocations and other more bald and revealing tools. Fireblossom has the best I've seen.

    @brian--re maniacal--is there some other kind?

    @Brendan There is indeed a pantomimic, commedia dell'arte aspect to these demon fellows, costumed in their oh so obvious archetypal paraphernalia, with their lairs deep in the psyche. The trick is to know when they're putting on the play their stage is designed for and when to get out the cross and garlic, I suppose. RE: the song--o yes. You know I grew up listening to all that motown--was it WJJD that was the top forty channel?(Been awhile) I remember your post--haven't we all sat in that cafe playing moth to flame, waiting to singe off our wings, waiting for a crumb to drop many a time and now? Hey I *am* (quite literally,) Mrs. Jones. The irony is inescapable. ;_) The old gods laugh.

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  8. "brined with memory, slick with salt." Wow...........I so love your writing!

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  9. Thanks so much Sherry. Good to see you, virtually speaking.

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  10. Once again, I feel I am hardly worthy of laying down any sort of comment~but I do so love my visits. This takes me way back to days of many gods, when wisdom and common sense shared common themes for those who were that much wiser because they didn't know. The laughter has been shared, more than once, but the horns leave bruises I don't much appreciate! Thanks again for a brilliant, thoughtful write, and I do hope I haven't taken up too much space. (The image~Awesome as always too!)

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  11. @Natasha--Too much space? Here at the home of hypergraphia? HA! That's a joke. I have answers so long they routinely get eaten because they don't fit in the comment box. Thanks for your very kind words, and I'm glad to see you come by.

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  12. Hey, what's so bad about a little visit from a sexual demon once in a while? Beats the shit out of warm milk!

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  13. FB: Damn straight. Warm milk is icky,anyway. And hey--demon love has no fat grams.

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  14. I'm stuck on the "useful" tail . . .

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  15. @MZ Not a bad place, if you have to be stuck.

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  16. ...

    my prehensile tail
    is useful for carrying
    bags of groceries

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  17. Such a Boy Scout. I suppose you use it to support old ladies across the street, too. You are flunkin out of demon school, my friend.

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  18. Oh Jesus that good. I wrote one about Succubus not long ago so I looked into all that... wow Joy this is stunning. And all the more powerful for it's succinctness. Very clever with the wordplay, some wicked (in both ways) imagery. First stanza in just cracking. This -

    Late at night
    when sleep's a joke
    told for hours without a punchline >wish I'd written that...

    I bow

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  19. Thanks, Luke. Glad you liked it. High praise indeed, and very much appreciated.

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  20. "It’s a wild
    but comforting thing"
    Yes! ;)

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg