Orlando

Christmas, 2003 / No. 11

“Nothing is so exciting as intellect and volition in the wolf.”—Leo Spitzer.

1.

Blue moon, you saw me standing. Alone.

Gender-bent in the bent light:

no dream, no star, no love, no room of my own.

Merely the water’s brief madness

Reflected still in the still night.

Here is forced escape & friction of breath. Held.

What becomes this measured distance

That stamps a quasi-figure trapped between knuckle & elbow?

How elide such dark poetic principle

Meant to smash a novel voice into a net of bones?

2.

If myths are the genitals of the collective unconscious.

What boots? Kicked against the pricks argues the point

For no other felt cause save to crack heaven’s glassy arch.

As when soft ware bends to hard ware

& mouth harp bends to upright organ in the joint.

As when plump doves bend to chiselled hawks.

As when round, fragrant flesh bends to coarse, musty fur.

As when pear-shaped tones bend to growls in the dark.

As when the old interior monologue

Hunkers at the moon’s feet & drowns in a babble of fears.

3.

How resolve a human intercourse

That always changes, never lasts, never becomes affectionate?

As loving a plant for its roots rather than its flowers

Has a fiend dug deep into its own grave heart.

Here is matter: the dead-rock moon & woe man hard upon it.

Virginia Woolf was no dwarf

With stones in her mouth to confound the wind.

Her medium was liquid & the utter

Ring of silence

Gave just cause for transformation.

Stan Rogal lives and writes in Toronto. His work has appeared in magazines and anthologies in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Last updated winter, 2020–2021.