Saturday, April 19, 2014

La Bibliothèque Infernale


La Bibliothèque Infernale





In Hell's library
there is no Dewey decimal system
no sexy librarian
no free internet

my curving spine is laid again 
and again on the fire
till all my leaves ignite.

The pain is exquisite;
surely I never wrote
so many pages?

When I am ash,
the incubus comes
to breathe on me.

Words begin to rehydrate
papery skin ghosts up,
unfolding its crackled foxing;
 
my binding perhaps
is not quite consumed
for the incubus is reading,

his smile 
the old smile.




~April 2014







Just one I jotted down while at my wit's end, another entry in the  Incubus series....






Image:  'La Bibliotheque infernale'
Paris, ca. 1870, early sterographic picture, public domain

16 comments:

  1. That's soooo cool Joy! Love the wording in S4, in particular, "papery skin ghosts up." Personally I thought the library from hell would be filled with nothing but Harlequin romances.

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  2. What an amazing source of inspiration for poem!

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  3. Who says there's no sexy librarian--or rather, who needs one? Ha. Plenty of action going on here. Part of what makes this so compelling is the wit combined with the naturalism--the many pages to burn and the subtle masochistic delight--a very interesting rebirth by the way for Easter weekend! (Ha.--Sorry.) There is so much charm here-- I had not seen that word "foxing?" used- for books--terrific. I do hope it is true that the spirit of books lives on even if they are burned--certainly some of the burned books I can think of, have been very powerful. Thanks. k.

    ps--personally I think this would qualify for the use/misuse of language thing at Toads--books are not intended to be burned! And I'm still not sure you didn't make up that foxing--Ha. K.

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    1. PS --even the idea of binding is so funny here.

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    2. Okay--I looked it up and now I like the poem even more--(you don't even get to be young again! Geez.) k.

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    3. No--just back in a burnable form. Deals with the devil are always that way, k. ;_)

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    4. The no Dewey decimal system is very funny btw.

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    5. Thanks, and I'm glad you saw the fun side of this--I've written a lot of ultra-serious poems lately--time for something a bit less ponderous. I have one for tomorrow that will redeem my frivolity, I hope. Have a great weekend, k, and I hope your stress is less now as you were hoping..

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  4. Oh, that left me with a smile on my lips. Excellent.

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  5. dang. nice...the book laid on the fire again and again...some cool touches throughout, the astonishment you ever wrote so much, in the face of the fire...the wicked incubus of torment....

    i really was banking on a sexy librarian in hell too...you have ruined my dream...ha

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  6. I love this inspired piece . . . many of us may dance with the devil but how the heck did you get yours to read! Loved the stanza:

    Words begin to rehydrate
    papery skin ghosts up,
    unfolding its crackled foxing

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  7. Oh yeah. Faust's pact with the devil was a writ, a legal document, writ in blood and fire -- the deal being everything for everything: you will get the world, and I will make you burn. No one's paying us the big bucks to do this thing we love, and we'll do it even while we're turning on whatever personal rack the devil has arranged for us. Wildly extended metaphor here, love the book-spine that survives the fire (its burning) and is actually the pleasure of the succubus. Stanza five is brilliant.

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    1. The interesting concept there is that we have something worth everything to gods and devils, isn't it? Seems odd to me. Thanks, B.

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  8. No sexy librarian? Well poo. I love this, from the stereographic image right on thbrough the poem itself. That Incubus, he is so full of himself, and yet, how else should a demon be? What an imagination you have, Joy, to come up with the idea of a book-burning of one's self, and then a rejuvenation at the hands of one of Old Scratch's minions. Those silver-tongued devils, what can you do?

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  9. I saw your comment on Mark's blog and his comment about the many ways to say 'I've got nothing to say', but again you put the lie to that, and arrive at this burning gem. lots of burning. :) ~

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    1. Like the Blue Oyster Cult song, for sure. ;_) Burn out the day/burn out the night--I'm all about livin for givin the devil his due...

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