Dirty Gerty's Hurdy Gurdy


Only the poem knows what's true

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kafka's Axe... and, well, my lost (one)!

I've been reading much Roethke as of late... and a friend, a wonderful poet, Rob Plath (one of Ginsberg's last students)... mentioned something Kafka said all writers and artists should do. Break their ice with a flippin' axe! Though I have suffered, and these past few days have been no exception, I decided, two days ago, to constrain my angst within a form, that hopefully breaks apart the mirror I've conveyed for my missing axe! *By the by, Roethke's first three books of poetry were/are still wondrous. I cannot wait to read The Waking, tomorrow, which he won the Pulitzer for in 1953. Still... I'm posting something of an inadequate poem, here, alongside photographs I took today. Because yes, even when I am ill, I "doll" myself (up). The blight of being "mad?"* :

The Axe

Lest we forget, the blond axe
Cutting ice petal by petal,
But still a film laughs behind,
And all contained in a cask,
Wrought from the very metal
The axe and Sun entwined.

Amaranth says it will not pass
And the ice film will not meddle,
It melts instead, stoops its hind,
So we may drink and trespass
The cask, our lips stung by nettle
Lined skin, our skin a bleeding rind.


Lest we remember, blood drawn thin,
Draws curtains from the Sun,
Sits in a room, not even shadows pass,
Looks for the axe, bones cave in,
Takes the barrel of an empty gun
Bled to chalk, maneuvering a cast.

But this cast contains my skin,
And casts me away from one,
I cannot shake off its putrid mask,
I bleed to find its bones within
To find my cask has been undone,
These bones, the fetor, where is my axe?

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