Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pyrexia Eclipsed

Pyrexia Eclipsed

Clouds' fists clip the edge
of the china moon; or is it just
his tooth that's chipped, souvenir
of one too many starroom brawls?
Half-cracked, he leers wobbling
down, an over-wise drunk with a secret to tell
to a bored constellation of strangers;
the jukebox night's come unplugged,
and it's stifling as a cave where only
the cold susurrus of blood surfs the ear, or a dream
where the hiss of scratched vinyl
deliriously sputters on.

I sit on my tipped chair by the overturned sky,
in the kitchen of my long disease, kitten-weak, quite ready
to listen to the blasted moon, but even drunk and
crackled, he's not talking. We must have quarreled,
back when I had those spasms. The moon is not
the most patient nurse, especially when
he's had a few, and he knows how to hold
a meteoric grudge. I shouldn't have heaved
all that space debris,  peevish in
my convalescent's rage.

Tertian, quartan, nocturnal,
venal & venereal; they say I'm cured
of all my fevers but the quotidian;
It seems I must be well in this pocked penumbra,
a healthy husk, sucked dry of every juice,
nursing a hypocrite's disapproval
of the winking drunkard moon.

~April 2015

Poem 28 for April

Pyrexia: a technical name for fever

Images, both Untitled, by Zladislav Beksinski
Fair use via wikiart.org


  1. I am glad you are cured of those other fevers but still have the quotidian one of posting daily this month! This is a lot of fun-- clever and a treat for the tongue-- though not sure I want to see the tongue of either of the main characters here -- the narrator or the moon as they may be coated with something aharper than cake batter. So much to laugh at or wince over-- I love the word okay Of the stanza re the moon's starroom brawl, the scratchy record Dream and all the sickneaa recovered from, tipped chair, tipped sky. Pyrexia seems to me to be that baking glass, I haven't looked it up-- but the sense fits In a very funny way_ I can hear snorts of other readers but I am on the train in the quiet car. Anyway-- much to laugh at and admire but also a kind of pathos too-- even a sodden moon a better companion than none in the kitchen that both needed and oversaw the cure. Forgive incoherency-- I am afraid to reread phone comment for fear of loss. K.

    1. Pyrexia just is doctor talk for fever, but yes, I meant the pun.--don;t worry about the typos, I have learned to decipher spellcheck, or autocomplete, or whatever those infernal devices do, and would have hated to lose the immediacy of this reaction in a more ..um, stable? comment. Thanks, k so glad this made you smile--and only two more to go! *HUGE sigh of relief*

    2. Well, knowing that it has a medical meaning makes the name all the funnier. I hate to say that pyrex seems terribly old hat to me at this point, even though I have some,having never owned a microwave. Still there's a feeling here of being baked under glass, or under a glass or with a glass-- thanks. k.

    3. PS--by pyrex seeming old hat--I don't mean that the poem seems old hat! I just mean what was once a newish product in my memory now is an oldish product--that is kind of shocking to me, actually--as it makes me feel rather like my own grandmother! I love its use here in the poem--I really like the whole poem. I am amazed you can summon such energy this late in the April game--it is really creative and great for the tongue. (All that part of me feels rather limp!) Thanks.

      ps - in terms of pyrex, I think of things like goretex and velcro--even post-its--that once seemed so new and amazing--and now, well--you know-- k.

  2. "in the kitchen of my long disease"

    Damn. I would be willing to commit a couple of felonies to have written this.

  3. The surrealism of this feels like a vivid fever dream - lush and intense. Just below the surface of the whimsy, there feels like there's this simmering exasperation.

  4. Very strange ambiance here, of drink or drug or just madness. The whole thing seems carefully off-balance, and by that I mean you've chosen your words exactly, but the effect is of a crazy demented tilt-a-whirl making everyone lurch this way, then that, under a weird and violent sky. Wild!

  5. so Pyrexia wasn't some nymph mooning after Bacchus or his replacement, Apollo, flashing her heat for a bit of soured grape? i'm loopy, true, but this pen is both amusing and wise. 'starroom brawls' , indeed. ~

  6. Is it terrible that I get excited around this kind of chaos? The real mess and the fantastical make me want to story the poem (worry not, I won't... without permission *cough*).

    There is just so much I want to know--not the poem doesn't say it, of course it does; it tells us all what the speaker wants to say. But I want to dig into the reasons for the possible quarrel, for the forgetting, for the tipping of that chair and fluid habits of the moon.

    There is such a long and terrible story here... my favorites! ;-)

    1. If you can find a story to tell here, I'm sure it would be amazing Magaly--I'd rather you used your own gifted imagination to explain these things by exploring them yourself than have me give a chapter and verse from my perspective. So, that was my permission, if you wanted it. ;_)

    2. I just trembled a little... I'm bookmarking this baby, and I shall email you soon. WoooHooo! ♥

  7. For every phase a fever, a mad tooth, sooth, and ginned grin! So if our boy Paracelsus was right about the phrenial toxins of moonbeams, then of course this one gets uncorked, making mayhem on his worst nights in the "starroom" (hah!) roadhouse of, say, 2 a.m. Visible if not sensible, mean if not meaning: sometimes I wonder if we were only intended to be the eyes and ears of the gods, taking the dictation. Your moon has a spring phase where the sea-witch stares from the wave holding a finger to her lips. Dashing, careening, sympathies ...

    1. It's a shattering thing to find even the moon has feet of clay. ;_) Good catch on the phasal nature of the piece--age is an upheaval--a quieter one than youth, but in many ways a more profound shaking of the foundations when rebuilding is painstakingly slow. How can one not envy the old night, filled with a crazy jukebox music, when all the new one has is a lot of scratches and white noise. But there is indeed a time for finger to lip. Thanks, B.


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

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