Monday, August 3, 2020

Guillotine Moon







Guillotine Moon


The moon cuts constant
even as her yellow face
sizzles off electric wind to
 spade-black void,
digging
 the dark day's shadows.

No wandering
in mist or star's orison
takes me far from loss.
No color seems to belong
to empty steam.  The last rain

bent my back like a bow,
mocking the horns of
her pale cipher smile; the moon
knows me better than you.
Our  mirror solitude

overflows with light,
her cratered face
the teacher, her absence a gift
of sapphire night, the pill of
her roundness a febrifuge

for folly's cache of nightmare. In
 this moon-blade guillotine
no one sees, I have placed
the eyeless head
of all my desires.





May/August 2020













posted for earthweal's weekly
challenge, Strange Worlds






















Images: Moon and Trees, artist unknown     Fair Use
Memory, 1938, © Rene Magritte               Fair Use


11 comments:

  1. A guillotine Moon seems appropriate! This is a brilliant poem, and your closing lines are stunning. Wow!

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  2. Now I can add "febrifuge" to my bag of cool words to know. The poem as a whole is your usual scalpel-precise and blade-sharp stuff, and holds its grim theme from start to gutting finish. It is so, so dark and hopeless, though, a nightmare from a hellscape. It's as harsh and stinging as white lightning, but does not warm or soften the edges of anything--rather, it's Un Chien Andalou screened on a skull dome.

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    Replies
    1. Well, not entirely what I aimed for when I wrote it, but if that is what you see, thanks for the honest appraisal.

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  3. A stunning poem indeed, with amazing language and imagery throughout, especially the image of the guillotine moon and the ‘spade-black void, digging the dark day’s shadows’, which reminded me of Dylan Thomas. I also love the lines:
    ‘…The last rain
    bent my back like a bow,
    mocking the horns of
    her pale cipher smile; the moon
    knows me better than you’
    and the use of the word ‘febrifuge’.

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  4. The ghost of the head who observed that moon sings this one. And it is a poem of sacrifice, becoming, as Rilke sang, the glass that shattered as it rang. Truth comes at us harshly these days if at all. Sorry to get by late. - Brendan

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  5. A great cascade of images. I need to brood over this one a bit, I think.

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  6. empress night and her handmaiden moon wield the sharpest edges, especially deep into the sleepless hours. perhaps that's why I rarely dream - they've cut away all my desires ~

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  7. The days are lost now, but the moon is a constant companion. The melancholy and longing are palpable in your images.

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  8. I think "stunning" says it well and yes "febrifuge" is now stuck in my head. There is such quality in your work. Every time I read this I come away with something different.

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    Replies
    1. The mirroring here makes me feel I aee you--or the speakee--in grief,experiencing loss as a permanent state. I see the bent back, the teacher the gift, the head itself, symbolic of unfulfilled desires. Maybe it is myself I'm reading here.

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    2. (Trying to read and write via cell phone.)

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats