Magic Song, Catharsis, and Impasse

Magic Song, Catharsis, and Impasse

Poem #1: Magic Song

It was day-time when
I made my noose,
and now
it is night-time.

I sought the secrets
and attention of gods,
and now I flit wingless
in my own shadow.

A man like a skeleton
waits, the stream knee-high.
He adjusts his wide hat,
and with his one eye,

Through the ears
of my corpse I sift,
but there is no electricity
to awaken.

Too many ravens for
a conspiracy
lurk here,
waiting for their skeletal master
to stop singing.

I can fill my body,
hanging as limp and wet
as a flag,
but my shadow
pulls me down.

It bids me look
and consider
this my black beard,
and that, my broken neck.

Its voice is a low
rumble of thunder
and it offers his hammer
and sickle
for a stroke of mercy.

The singer’s eye flashes,
he has seen my puny specter.
Now he waits, his magic song
frozen on a high note,
and the ravens
in suspense.

Poem #2: Catharsis

Choking on the course rope taut against my neck,
I awaken.
Kicking my legs,
my eyes roll and roll,
rotating my skull’s darkness
for Odin All-Father
in skeletal aspect.

Can’t breathe,
I clutch the noose,
jerking as I die
a second time,
while Odin All-Father
looks on intently.

Odin All-Father,
your magic song pierced the real,
and bruised the mystical-
it was my name you were calling,
was it just to ask
why I scattered the runes
of your name
as I twisted my rope?

I have grappled with clouds
and fallen with Satan,
can’t you cut me down
from this length that I made
myself, for myself?

All-Father smiles now,
in the pure starlight, his spear
and I fall into the river,
gasping as air floods my lungs
like a fish thrown back.
He offers his hand,
but when I look up,
runes beam from his eyes
like high-beams,
transfixing me.

A caustic wind rises,
and the poet-king
tilts his hat towards me.
“Just what did you hope to find
at the end of a noose?” he asks in a charnel voice.

Poem #3: Impasse

the horse glistens,
planetoids and cosmic spirals
tearing by,
the afterlife’s umbilical stairwells falling away,
flames and rusted oceans
sinking beneath iron horseshoes,
never to be seen again.
Sleipnir charges,
the steed of my father,
the All-Poet,
following his
gruff voice as it filters down to me,
beckons, cajoles, and begs
for me to reach it,
to answer in any way.

The fury of four poets
propels the beast forward,
but we hurtle towards an implacable force,
framed by the sordid horizon
that borders the airy world I hail from.

A heartless queen waits
poised at the crossroads between
a mouthful of dirt, and the brightness of
the sun, rising and setting.
She will not allow me
to cross;
there is a predatory chill about her stance,
and as the beast rears up,
black flesh glistening with foam,
her nimble scythe strikes,
scattering his form in a red gush
of metaphysical particles
and raw, sopping meat.
In Hell’s dolorous gloom,
Satan awakens in time to catch
falling Byron, hapless Poe,
willful Blake, and seditious Shelly.
Throwing back her hood,
her shrill screech
drowns out my father’s guiding song,
and the horizon is lost to impenetrable mist.

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