Thursday, December 8, 2011

The case of Joseph Campana / Poems from The Book of Faces

Queen Bee

Suffer them unto you , you say. You say bring them to me, bring them
bearing flowers, all the faces swarming near.

You love everything. You love to press your face in their dirt and still
rise, still rise luminous.

It should have been you hovering over, you sky, but you build a hive
of sweetness, an army of need.

It should have been you in that film, the one spring webs, stinging
out the competition.

But you were sweetness itself : without guile, without want. You honey
you wax, you wasp, you poison.

You left for the mutitudes - a bag full of slippers, a handful of dust.
You were queen of millions :

who needed mother, father, child ? Send another to the flowers. Bring
the queen her nectar.

Were I your son, your lover, your you, your others, would it have mattered?
You couldn't stop it for me.

How could you care for everyone, anyone?

How could you sting them over and over again and leave me to watch?

Suffer them unto you, you say. You say, who is not the child of my desire?


I will make you a desert.
I will carve it from the bones of your mother.
I will bring all waters to me and I will drink them.

With my hands I will grind sand from stone.
With my hands I will settle the sand over your face.
With my sand I will scour the flesh of the desert from your bones.

Draw you water from stone.
Draw your face in sand with water.
Draw you a face of water that smoothes out.

I withdraw my hand from the water that cools the air above your desert.

I will make a pilgrimage.
I will make my pilgrimage a crusade.
I wll ride out against the invading specters you fear as much as I do.

With you I have.
With you I have the courage, conviction. 
With you I have the strength to destroy in the manner you expect. 

Out of city or town,
Out of the cities and towns of the plains.
Out of the cities and towns of the plains despoiled to blazon your name.

I, without you, will not abide the burning of any desert and I will
reduce it to glass with my love. 

A History of Idolatry ( excerpt no5 ) 

Once I peered through the keyhole of a cliche' and you 
were there and so was I and imagine my surprise at 
eyeing the line of your belt to see your hand grasping
even tighter the darkening barrel of a loaded gun you
would never use on me (even if I asked) and imagine me
stooped there, kneeling, wondering if you held it tighter
than you would ever hold me. If you would ever hold me
at all : that was my only worry .

A History of Idolatry (excerpt no 8)

And Tertullian said : let the succulent objects die. And
Augustine said : yes but let me see them first. And
Tertullian said : let the spectacles die. And Augustine
said : yes indeed, I went to those and they were frenzy.
And Tertullian said : I myself will punish the makers of 
things for though they had no knowledge of the evil to 
which objects would be put they are still at the far end
of a chain of dangerous communicability and I am the
avenging angel placed here to take the hand from any
man who has mistaken the creature for the creator. And
Augustine said : let it be so for I have all the hooks and 
I will marry them to your flesh for they have in them
the very same weight, the very same ripeness, the exact
same slide, dissolve, fade. And Tertullian said : beware.
One could wrap oneself so thightly in sensuous being
that never would any surface or any texture or even any
feeling lay unconcealed. 

1 comment:

James said...