YGDRASIL: A Journal of the Poetic Arts

August 2011

VOL XIX, Issue 8, Number 220


This Issue Editor: Heather Ferguson

Editor: Klaus J. Gerken

Production Editor: Heather Ferguson

European Editor: Mois Benarroch

Contributing Editors: Michael Collings; Jack R. Wesdorp; Oswald Le Winter

Previous Associate Editors: Igal Koshevoy; Evan Light; Pedro Sena

ISSN 1480-6401


TABLE OF CONTENTS




Rose Lucidť by Jack R. Wesdorp




INTRODUCTION


When you get to dance only once
it's of majestic importance
but if you get a second chance
pay attention: it's immortal.



Rose Lucidť

I become aware someoneís in the house but thereís no one there I can smell chinese cat-foot up curved stair tendrils on the breeze Sure the gates are locked tremble through my knees frozen mantel clock I go spook the hall sometimes feelings knock or ghosts in the wall Open bedroom doors maybe I should call fragrant soft color I liked Peking duck kitchen creaking floor I hope we will fuck That old geezer cracked his gourd word is heís a millionaire careful when you deliver just give him his chow and walk talking to him ainít no good wouldnít spend no time with nuts but food he can understand hand feeds busted cats and birds murdered his wife we suspect sex and loot cut a stiff row if he did it heís clever they never found her body goddam he grows nice roses. Mister Luce, are you up there? I brought your grocery stuff. Getting through your gardenís tough, I got burdock in my hair, some thorny thing tore my clothes, and I donít like that at all. That old pine treeís gonna fall on your porch next time it blows. Mister Luce, can you hear me? Tomorrow Iíll bring some tools, whack back those weeds after school, and you wonít hafta fear me, I donít believe what they say, I stuck your milk in the fridge and lowered it a smidgin, gotta go, have a good day! I donít like the way it looks inattentive with her books whyís she going over there? dirty knees and matted hair straggles home stinking of cat you know Iím not fond of that whatís our neighbors gonna think should we truck her to a shrink? ainít that guy done in his wife with a fucking butcher knife? maybe I should send a cop to threaten that bent up wopÖ Shuffle mumble spook leaves cash in the hutch, really needs a cook and pays way too much, seems a sweetheart gig daily round the bend, so it beats bigger sailing deeper ends, jambalaya prawns old champagne on ice heavy lidded dawns loaded devil dice. Overwhelming dope for a nubile rose whoís been short on hope and designer clothes. Funny how her dad let the matter slide, why should he get mad with a rich manís ride, the kid seems to be doing well enough, hell, she brings home free patronage and stuffÖ Unlimited loot weighs a drudging ton, first off itís a hoot cause it buys you fun, but thatís soon replaced by a vapid stare when you find youíre faced with a vacant chair. Money canít buy friends, fortunate or bliss, so it tends to end on a precipice wonder should I jump ainít no witty boys then thereís the speed bump of expensive toys after that it gets apathetic fast and, love, weíre betting that lootís a bastard. Heard the latest Rose skinny bop? Filled a cart at the Stop & Shop, quit her job at the Lobster Shed and signed up to take drivers ed, blew me off for a movie date, got a lotta stuff on her plate been getting home late, dunno where must be dirty, real tangled hair saw her at the SPCA guess what, sheís gonna go away thatís what her nextdoor Abbie said I donít think sheís going steady with any one, thatís just babbleÖ Hi? I swept the kitchen path, trellised up that thornbush rose, and I brought a garden hose to clean your pretty bird bath. Dropped the fridge another notch, itís not running cold enough thatíll spoil your milk and stuff. I donít wanna do too much or change the way you survive howcome upstairs is shuttered rumor is youíre a nutter Iím just glad to be alive maybe you could leave me notes and rattle off the real scoop what itís like to stay cooped up maniac freak episodes next week I gotta bone up for finals in chemistry poisons are my specialty your supperís on the hearth stone. I once went to a masked ball down at the masonic hall some rich guy sprung for the feed it was very good indeed wine Iíve never tasted since I dressed as a courtly prince in that candelabra place mortal color danced with me but I didnít see her face she wore a black pantherís pelt I can tell you that I felt like when a man proposes because she smelled of roses nothing underneath thin fur it could only have been her. Well I see youíre still eating, the old icebox works again, so I guess we must be friends and the heart goes on beating. Sometimes I can hear your blood rushing typhoon through the ear when weíre given in to fear in a maelstrom corkscrew flood. Then we would be wondering just who it is thatís insane, it must be you in my brain where eyeblink goes blundering sure we think Iím paranoid but you havenít poisoned me so perhaps we can be me how do you do doctor Freud? Actually itís not so hard being one or two or five just so long as weíre alive with roses in the garden oh the hose yes thatís a snake see I know symbology curled round limbic hollow tree am I sure that weíre awake? And the thorn, whose blood is that which drips from my finger lick so for godísake am I sick hidden in my belfry bat? Rose, oh rose, can you forgive us in our extremity, release me rose, set us free deadly met that we may live. Rose commuted to Tulane and took her degree in veterinary toxicology. Graduated magna cum thirteenth in her class, plugged in with the brass, and plenty of snazz. Drove a sixty six corvette, pretty forest green, pearls over frayed jeans, best we ever seen. Did exactly as she pleased brazen and brilliant, lived in ďthat killerísĒ mansion on the hill. And who are we to gainsay what is burned oblique, go thou wreaksome and gather what ye seek. Rumor circulated like: psycho fester killer crap trapped our best queen teen age whore sordid revelation beast feast on beezelboobs for lunch hunchback yes I swear I seen green enough to own a bank frankly that at least is true voodoo zombie caterwaul college transcript goddamn Aís casement eye sulfurous reek weekly deliveries of stuff we canít believe itís love. I bet you wanna fuck me. All old men remember when we ran our mill set on ten and filled a firkin bucket. Twenty year old harlot slick, leading with bejeezus eyes, fast in bed, adept at lies, enough to kill a man quick or slow, whatever he wants just so long as he donít blink, until he wakes with a stink in his head about hot cunts, paralysis in his balls that can stay with him for life, the other way is a knife or blindness inside his walls. Those who cut their wieners free usually are so twisted that even a simple miss can geld off their fantasy. So how about it old man, you still wanna fuck with me? We wonder if you can see; maybe not, maybe you canÖ Eerie laughter shakes the walls perspiration sour soaked clothes indigo reeking roses frozen aching in his balls unfold origami past bastard shadow dripping crap shrieking nails drawn from shiplap sinking leaking clipper glass last meal slash mile cyanide cypress weeping catafalque church-yard sleeping orison saline running color drum booming birchwood boulder baulk how old are we really now? Still seventeen in his head body damn near heavy dead maybe hell whatís in a vow and what is it worth to stay on earth where mirror fractures replay endless lurid acts on a meaningless fragrance dancing to oblivion. Grasp the pen! Take a letter, make it your best one ever, aye then better to be done. Rose knew right away that something heavy had gone, wandered off the edge tentative from night into the half light and then into day maybe, but she wasnít sure. An empty kitchen one mug with suspicious dregs smelling of morphine or some alkaloid could be paranoid god I think itís hope hitching up his transience. Look, he left a gift spider scrawling on a trunk, monkish fare thee well: my dear, allow me this is your dowry hold it to yourself swift be thy course on the deep. Rose lifted the lid gingerly while standing wide. Inside it is stacked rubber neat banded his even handed enough there for life hidden in the pearl of love. Thereís no grave stones in the mind when you know just who you are. The eyeblink stores what it finds like fireflies in a jar. On the hill a mirror bends low in curtsy saturnine while a panther apprehends his lewd riderís finery. The universe tastes of red slit seeing wormwood double, in the masterís chamber bed mistress rose formidable. How many lovers can we spiral through a needleís bore, what enchanted family works its ancient incest lore? Of the royal mien thereís this: laws and customs donít mean shit in the claw succession biz, just survival of the fit. An apartment in Paris, visit to the Vatican, camping with the Kalderash, tight with Dominican nuns. Rose went round the world three times, itchy footed gotta roam donít get in my way or lines nor hang me up when Iím home. A lotta living under her baileywitch lightning flash, probably Mach two thunder contrails and sufficient cash. Sixty six but whoís counting, certainly not her bent glass, when you drink at the fountain some one else will watch your ass. Pssst, past her prime, thatís the word round town, then the flicker flame, fewer men play on the board, stale mate, is that the end game? In the bottom of the box lies a letter sealed with wax, the same spider fountain pen that has left her all those bens. A centipede of hour glass patter sifts wentling to pass, upstairs attic floor boards creak, itís the last time they will speak: My dear, Iíve watched you grow tall he calls me Ďmy dearí! while I went crazy upstairs. Sometimes I made your skin crawl frigid fingered fear with raving bent through your hair. God saw you wash those flagstones magick garden bed you were kind to battered cats left my privacy alone until you were dead and Iím satisfied with that. There is no way to repay I need no reward the charity that youíve spent. I am bent low every day rose garden altar when I stare at you, my friend. Seven years is thread sublime weave no wedding ring! to unravel whatís been skeined. May you have sufficient time, to do everything Rose, I leave your bed unchained. Even New Orleans gets cold when descending into frail, fingers refuse to follow while you wend the world by Braille. Rose, who could afford the best, chose to live in a shelter boarding with indigent guests, working the kitchen and spent many years in December at that poor house wheel chair place where witch women remember forgotten names and faces. Yesss, old man Luce the slaughter, had a restless gypsy wife, black haired girl named Rose Lauter, hacked her with a kitchen knife, confessed it to father Pat, one daughter so I hear tell but dunno whatís up with that, bastard hope he rots in hellÖ Rose walks to the window sill where snow drifts against crazed glass, she drinks her fill of brilliance all things present come to pass. How is it that two Can it be that who can exist as one we cherish is planned in a single flame? in the chain of names? Rose Lucidť went away, weíre not sure exactly when. Just what happened we canít say, nor if she will come again. The old house fell into ruin, stolen slates, foundation cracks, home to stray cats and raccoons, then it sold for back taxes. A developer burned it down promising to build condos, but he ainít been seen around, we heard his check book got hosed. After that the hill went back to better things and woodland hidden stillborn trackless bentÖ oh, kids found a skeleton, the coronerís report reads: female, cause of death unknown, case closed, lack of leads. ThenÖweeds, frozen moments cut in time, toppled corner stone, no one, forlorn dancing pantomime where a thorn climbs to the sun.

POST SCRIPTUM


Our finest flower worthy of stained glass
of immense power at a plainsong mass
sometimes perverted on a white house lawn
to assauge our hurt when the cannon's gone
would that we can taste the healing perfume
at your casement glass and the kneeling tomb.


*

Copyright (c) 2011 Jack R. Wesdorp


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