Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"What we fail to read, is reading us" by Corinne Lee


My gone love, there are so many paths. Blank
and mute, blind
like worms nosing loam.
Mesopotamian diviners, bewildered,
hunted wisdom by reading them—

studying entrails of sacrificed creatures,
they saw "Palaces of the Intestines"
in which gods revealed futures (both possible
and real). Pressed coil to coil, those bowels would match

cathedral labyrinth mosaics. Worn
into thin troughs by footsteps
of penitents. Mere skin separates the cool marble floors

from pilgrims' hot inner skeins. Walls
mortal depths away
from exterior wonders. Remove that sheath, and all life
becomes probe, electric:

butterflies can dip wings,
soft shards, between jumping muscles;
lovers' fingertips can trace blue veins
of bare heart. Suddenly superfluous,
the one-note melding of skin-on-skin loving,

if lips can burrow
into pearl larynxes, if two spinal cords
can braid into one rapturous,
sparking plait. That all can be, for pure love discards
the rational. (As its pursuit breeds nothing
but monsters.) So, my phantom love,

you may absorb
this without eyes,
without skin: The body
of the beloved is neither clay,
nor glass, nor granite.

Source of the text - Corinne Lee, Pyx. New York: Penguin Books, 2005, pp. 52-53.

Bourguignomicon: Deploying an offbeat intestine-is-cathedral metaphor & other crisp image-actions, the poet imagines there’s no skin & wonders if we can.

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