I was wound of the tensile flesh
malleable as copper
slow as a thickening in an ice cube
beneath the hammer of my blacksmith father.

The clock on the wall
cuckooed the half hour
of my conception. The cheap dresser mirror
showed no radical movements.
Each wall kept its footing
and the pine wood floor
extended in time a dry
coherence. This rat-tailed
wriggler from the final Bardo
was wracked to incarnation
on the uterine wheel.

Ninth month: too young mother
sang me forth: black & wizened

Monad would not take breath
lay still beneath the pole star

dreaming silver spires blue feathers
Boehme's angelic blooded
intelligences and the a priori

But mine was a dream tainted by myth: the agon
of consciousness in matter,
& every poem is
in vagitus.


I howled & bit my pillow.
I writhed upon my blanket. Dreams
creased my tongue w/a 2-penny nail & I began to sing

of a lamb's head
hung by hook from a chain
turning its yes.
turning its no.

The fibers of my voice untwined
& I arose at dawn
to send my hands
among the Gnashing Levers
& draw them back
w/ tender in a sheath--

Then kicked an avenue
through rain-glazed boxes
to climb the rungs
in my own flesh
to the vertiginous height
of a man

where no one cared
to talk to me
but the fashioners
of my sweet language

who thrust it between my lobes--
a well-chipped artifact, leaf-
shaped and deadly. The dart
point of a civilization roughly
10,000 years old.

I carry their gift like a wire
embedded in my cheek
& when I feel the tingle
I clinch upon the spark

for as iron grows secretly in a bridal bed of stone
& the crystal weights an umbilicus of thread
& knots 12 brilliant slats
around a seed,
so the hidden voice gestates
in its bath of woe
till the tongue finds it like a crumb of glass
& thrusts beneath it as an altar stone
lifts the pyre or pyx to the sky.

I spread my hands like a child.
I clap my hands.
A scroll unrolls from my lips & stitched upon it
26 glittering letters
marching from left to right.

The lamb's head
turns upon itself
tapping its own rough rhythms
in a tin pail, building
a fat meniscus as it swims
deep in the shadow of the world.