Forensic scraps of human flesh
still cling to its iron spikes -
last vestiges of past obsession.
The things you hear in galleries...
the things the couples do!
Seeing them and hearing what they said
alerted it to what it lacked:
a gender - or a gender substitute,
some similarly sensuous equipping
of the flesh.
Then overhearing that the angel hosts
have nothing in their natures of that kind,
evoked in it the rash thought that perhaps
it was a sort of angel in disguise.
From thought grew wings -
those fine steel mesh accessories you see.
An angel haunted by its history,
afflicted by its past,
pursued by shapeless echoes,
hounds of incoherence,
and sounds of choking. White
noise, whispers, shrieks and clunks
like train wheels on a track.
Words from repetition, rhythm, rhyme
the way a train's wheels fashion them.
Then mistranslation to angelic form,
having wings of confidence to find
words in the sounds and sounds in silences
and thoughts in words - and neither thought nor words
the same for poets as for us.
What matter if the visitors, the suits of armour
or the rows of children murmuring
with pencils in their hands
were spinning what the found thing heard, out of themselves
the way that spiders spin their silken threads?
Who knows where these things come from? Half the time
they are like clouds: amorphous things
that float by in the air. But certainly
the words fell somewhere there-abouts,
and by their being there,
by their proximity to that iron thing,
were known as metaphors.
"By whose proximity?" the people asked.
Well, not the words', for sure. The people's,
surely... Surely Duchamp got it wrong!
But poems need a structure, it would learn
from its attempt to prod them into life
(returning to the old ways, if you please),
just knowing in its gut
they were its only chance.
For some it will be drugs, for others booze,
but for the found thing, morphing yet again,
it was - had always been -
that hankering for human flesh;
insatiable, raw cruelty. It had
been born an Iron Maiden, and the iron (here)
had taken full possession of its soul -
until the day it felt the metal softening
beneath the power of poems in its loins.
Angry young men
trek the wilderness.
Nature absorbs anger