Desire’s Enfeebling Splinter

I dug this one up from about eight or so years ago, having written it when I was in my mid-twenties.
It disappoints me less and less the more I chop and rewrite it and tinker,
though it demands more attention for revision than I have at the moment.
I’ve fiddled with it for nearly a week or so at this point;
time to let it go (for now).


I did not like being a man in the summer;

then man was I little — more beast, then,  my measure;

was not so by nature, but my eyes would wander

(or hunt, as it were) and then did so with pleasure.

Nonetheless I was ne’er sated by this,

it did not for a moment deliver the bliss

falsely promised by passions that run far amiss,

yet still

desire a wholeness and permanence

they lack

when roaming in hungry dead somnolence,


outside the sanctuary.


I do not enjoy dissipation, diffusement,

“faded-to-ether” is not my choice state;

spectrality is a high price for amusements

that thinned my desires from the concentrate

they enjoy when their object is single and whole

retracting to self, into tenorous soul;

abandoning vapors so as to afford

a harmonic form,

whence desire’s sword

does not dive like a scalpel to cut out a breast,

lift it from its family and all of the rest

of a life that has roots and a name: I confess,

I have done this more than once.


“I do so love being a man in the summer” —

so said a great man, in a slip of the tongue,

in an instant creating a moment that thundered

against every lesson he gave to his son.

This dissonant blather stormed on through the years,

though eroded by counsels that were better-steered,

to be swallowed by love’s ever-brightening cheer

which dispels with godlike haste

all advice that lacks in grace

lifting eros to a place

–there, objects Upper-Case–

she needn’t scavenge for scraps of punctuation,

as she did

when sighs and stone-nibbling were celebration;

her longing: given face,

desire’s bowstring mended,

distant feats, now attended.


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