Excerpt from “The King” by Ben Mazer in the Debut of The Battersea Review

by on 03/06/12 at 2:38 pm

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I
 
How often their predictable voices jostling the night air
within a scent’s reach of jonquils and jasmine
and the eyes’ blinded reach of the insoluable sphinx
turn ideas in themselves—a circulating zephyr—
too loudly, paradaisal and prismatic:
the silver words!—Death’s stealth
relinquishes finally nothing but their motion;
British, French, Turkish, German, Arabic,
mean nothing to the eclipsing god,
their silence wrought in menacing origin,
that has no halve, killing them where they’re standing.
The useless breasts, diminutive exchanges,
live in the shadow of their apocalyptic
certainty: beyond which there is nothing.

Why do the lovers speak
if not to disturb and unsettle eternal darkness?
 
II
 
The smooth figures shine
as if to reflect perpetual myriad
certainties, affirmations closed from inside.
The long halls deflect
their obsidian madness, tantalize
incognizable, implacable prophecies
unshouldering stone, imperfect and intact.
Confined within the silence of these walls.
Cracked boulders of glass
exact and exempt the traveller’s surmise,
deferring to look into his eyes
with so much passion as to scorch the will.
Perpetually the unborn fulfill
his destiny, beyond which nothing lies.
 

 
III
 
What in the end is rain?
Conceit and grammar
fructifying to undo white space,
wall they are carried past as to efface
their going there—humid and perfume and guide;
to this endless motion are allied
the arts of the static—the ribbon and the drawer,
the car parked in the same lot as before
the rain draws past: calyx and surmise!
The water birds and the east central herds
repattern music, figures in disguise,
the orphan stays inside.
Night like an opiate drowns
a sense of waiting. All carved on one door!
 
IV
 
Think of it. Thousands of grids
that have their double not even in existence—
as if one steamy cloud of alphabet soup
hid not only birth and the father that is working
but the immemorial repeatable
vortex and mantle of the possible image:
descending so far beneath the immaculate sea
as to cast the city into its tributary,
reordering unity of the glozening sky.
Kempt here band of images that never die!
They tumble upside down, implacable grids
that wash out summer and anchor in the winter,
extend the fall into the breach of evening,
and block out night—the one eye of the gods.
 
V
 
So toward the mother, the mother of the father—
like crags of rock the sexless industry
that wordlessly prevails, and true north wind!
The tales of Beatrix Potter can’t rescind
her personal secretary, the ornamental willow!
Like lashes of repentance the closed hand
leaves just one crack for the boy King to enter
past ancient sleep to crawl out on the window
and see the city spread like landing gear
where orphans close on one immaculate rose!
What came before holds steadfast like a center
behind the mind’s blind decade, decadence
that even the talons of the sinless purchase!
Strangers upon the road to Troy. O boy!

 

Read on at The Battersea Review.

 

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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