Saturday, March 3, 2018



And to write a poem

beneath the sickle moon

is barbaric

And to trace a poem

upon the lover's body

is barbaric

And to write a poem

amidst the dust

amidst the dust

storm of history is barbaric

And to read a poem

To read

while the book is burning

and to enter the Paper House

while the streets are burning

To enter the Paper House

which is silent

And to hear the song

should we call it a song

soonest gone

of the cicadas

in the parching heat

when to drink

of the lover's liquid

is barbaric

And to wander

in a dark wood

wander lost

in a dark wood

to look

and to begin

to say farewell

to begin

and to dwell

to dwell upon

to dwell among


Michael Palmer
The Laughter of the Sphinx
New Directions 2016