Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Omphalos: For A Case of Beer

For a case of beer, unobtainable by his own devices
edgy the lad liberated the truck from its red brick barn,
Where it slept awaiting that clamorous call
The call that rarely came, the horn that cried in the night
Awakening the village men, tossing them from various slumbers
With unassailable urgency

But not today. It came occult, on covert occasion,
To serve us in our own special need—
Where the pale concrete children scampered and squealed
Among moss fallen cabins, we labored long in that broad white hole
Snowblind in the heat, chilled by the dark mountains’ fogs
Long days melded into evening’s aching labor
we reached the day of judgement—

The truck equal between shore and broad white hole
Snout draughts deep of the chill lake
From its side the mighty snake emerges, flat like the nightmare parasite
Drapes the weedy sward, broad bronze mouth perched over the hole,
secured by stones, and rope, to a plank—
That was in its turn, secured against the fearsome coilings

On our command the lad loosed the power he brung:
Rumble, then a ripping sound like I have never heard
Before or since, dances across the grass to me
The snake hisses, bucks, belches, heaves, disgorges
a plume of emerald, splays across the hole,
washes away, conceals what we have made

I cannot resist—climb in—our mutual baptism in this moment
A sacrament unsanctioned and unknown
I meet the plume arms outstretched, back turned in greeting
crucified against the pounding column, laying back
embraced and held close by this most substantial of ephemera

You would not think such a thing possible, but I saw it with my own eyes
For three straight hours the snake spewed. It filled the hole with emerald
opaque and unknowable, unfathomable
At its center, a froth-flecked gyre, a foot or more below the unwavering edge
Though I watched it for hours, it stayed, undiminished
Such moment does not easily surrender
Omphalos

4 comments:

Madeline! said...

Brilliant... took me a little while to figure it out... brilliant.

Anonymous said...

where did you build this thing?

Andrew said...

oops, that was me

Dennis said...

Hancock, N.Y.