Syllogisms of Shame

Ascetic acts squeeze

a pious harmony

from the angels.

I circumnavigate

the eternal,

a reclining

figure of Venus

by my side. Her

loveliness beckons

the great unwashed.

No other is

so attuned to

the pale mask

of death. No other

so listlessly woos.

My eyes flex, fix

on the Heraclitean fire.

A lemon tree tempts

the Unnameable,

encircled by the guild

of painless sorrow.

Liberty, breasts

uncovered, ushers

the revolution

toward its demonic

demise: the Terror.

I come late to

the table. Stone

breaks into a long,

plaintive cry.

I relinquish my hold

on life. I abdicate

my paper throne.

Devotees of bells

break their hammers

in silent protest.

All ears resist

the encroachment

of noise. Arms

flail in the void,

striking nothing

but air, nothing but

the broken platters

of heads

of the righteous.

I inhabit the shadowy

kingdom of dusk,

held close by carvers

of ebony hearts


with a cross.

I climb stony walls

initialed by Adam.

Illiterate, he makes

the sign of the snake,

nervously bouncing

his heel on the grass.

Free will proves

infinite, he finds,

shaping countless

poems and


of shame.

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