Basement bright with skin
shows dark, rapt faces.
They hold him
in their hearts and brains.
Someone whispered the world
is not worth becoming evil for –
On the ceiling, which is the maiden mother’s floor,
they pound, and pause, and pound again.
Blood pulsing in their fists,
the pierce of loathing under their ribs.
In a shadowed mezzanine
below the conscious mind,
they gnaw on river fish,
direct you to the wrong people,
put glitter in their eyes,
control the atmosphere,
arrange stillborn thoughts in old places.
Later they will say you brought down
the old, dull, rusted sword
with your own hands – and you did –
on the samovar that hid her hand
and the bed where she bared herself.
bird reposed in flight,
love for whose sake everything, murderous
and merciful, is done –
It’s so quiet now,
vouchsafed to a world of sullen depravity,
a few crumbs of dust for the broom.
The true operation of your mind – follow it –
Ned Baeck lives in Vancouver.
His poems have recently appeared in untethered, The Continuist and Sewer Lid.
His first full-length collection of poems is forthcoming from Guernica.
Cathy, I’m lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping
And I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why
(Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, JFK)
lyrics Paul Simon, America
Lyrics by Bob Dylan from I Want You & Don Quixote by Pablo Picasso