Obsidian’s Edge 27


El sueño de la razón produce monstruos.
When reason sleeps, monsters are born.
Francisco de Goya.

3:00 AM

… often the imprisoned heart pinned like a butterfly and chloroformed into silence like a resurgent Guy Fawkes sitting on his bonfire and waiting for the universe to roll its coloured dice a captive and that heart singing as the dark rum of freedom bites into its jackdaw dreams of bright silver rings married to a bird’s leg and the round open eye of a cat staring at a Queen of Hearts as champagne bubbles burst in the mouth and dash on the tongue as they wash against the tooth’s white rock as it waltzes with the white caps that crest into broken ghosts who shuffle in and out like a pack of cards filled with knaves and the joker is belled with a red fool’s cap and a bladder on a stick as a tom cat’s tom fool grin melts in the mirror when the moon’s face skids and bounces off a snow bank where tranquil midnight mysteries trap trembling worlds in hand-blown glass bubble dreams that distort all distances clasped beneath clutching fingers while the crystal raindrops serve as an eye to behold the crimson glory of the hibiscus with its blood red stains where the baby fell from the rocking horse and confessed to a crime it never committed though speckled like a fresh trout it was drawn from deep water and blamed for the rainbow fire that flickered flames to the harsh crisp sound of the candle licking at its waxen jail where flower faces float framed against the white-washed wall as the wide-open staring eyes of the snowy owl speckle a yellow madness and its feathers are nails to be fired into  a pottery tree in this harsh somniferous light that breathes fear and fire into shavings of dry bark and a beaver gnaws at the roots of the world as an accusatory beak points at the funneling snow and puffed up feathers plump out a body so thin it is unfit to fight these flames of ice or withstand these snow stones cast by blameless flint-eyed innocents who have never themselves done anything wrong though they spark at the trough with one eye clouded by a spider web of hate and the other a sharp sun peering through clouds condemned like a donkey to walk round and round crushing the heart out of the maguey in an interior world of  dust and stone where the mote in another person’s eye is larger than the beam in one’s own and slant-eyed dogs eat dust and shadows of dust as they prowl through the courtyard and bark at the full moon blazing above this world that is sacrificed to a madwoman’s madness and an ancient flesh-devouring god who lives in a nearby volcano and is stoned all day on tequila and mescal


6 thoughts on “Obsidian’s Edge 27

      • Old poems do creep on us, like forgotten ghosts, to haunt our living minds. There are a couple of academic articles that I have revisited and I think “Did I really write that?” Someone asked me once, at a poetry reading, how long it had taken me to write the formalities of the doctoral thesis out of my creative writing: my answer — close to 25 years. I am glad to have exchanged the stilted shackles of academia for the freedom of my latest creative writings.


  1. I have now revised OE25 and will be re-posting it soon as a single sequence. It is quite interesting in its revised form. Thank you for your input on that, Tanya: it helped me to refocus and re-structure.


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