Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beyond Every Instant of Ecstasy

Colin Moulding is 59 today. XTC is in the innermost circle of bands/musicians that rotate in and out of the two open spots in My Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game, have been for thirty-five years, and if I prefer on the whole and by more than a smidgen Andy Partridge songs to Colin Moulding songs  that doesn't mean I don't love Colin Moulding songs.


Franz Wright

It’s true I never write, but I would gladly die with you.
Gladly lower myself down alone with you into the enormous mouth
that waits, beyond youth, beyond every instant of ecstasy, remember:
before battle we would do each other’s makeup, comb each other’s
                   hair out
saying we are unconquerable, we are terrible and splendid—
the mouth waiting, patiently waiting. And I will meet you there
beyond bleeding thorns, the endless dilation, the fire that alters
I am there already past snowy clouds, balding moss, dim
swarm of stars even we can step over, it is easier this time, I promise—
I am already waiting in your personal heaven, here is my hand,
I will help you across. I would gladly die with you still,
although I never write  
from this gray institution. See
they are so busy trying to cure me,
I’m condemned—sorry, I have been given the job
of vacuuming the desert forever, well, no more than eight hours
                   a day.
And it’s really just about a thousand miles of cafeteria;
a large one in any event. With its miniature plastic knives,
its tuna salad and Saran-Wrapped genitalia will somebody
get me out of here, sorry. I am happy to say that
every method, massive pharmaceuticals, art therapy
and edifying films as well as others I would prefer
not to mention—I mean, every single technique
known to the mouth—sorry!—to our most kindly
compassionate science is being employed
to restore me to normal well-being
and cheerful stability. I go on vacuuming
toward a small diamond light burning
off in the distance. Remember
me. Do you
remember me?   
In the night’s windowless darkness
when I am lying cold and numb
and no one’s fiddling with the lock, or
shining flashlights in my eyes,
although I never write, secretly
I long to die with you,
does that count?


Tom Sleigh

Branching the way blind fingers splay across
The face they’re reading, trees trace the backyard
Ditch sop that their shadows drop off into
          an abyss where I hear a neighbor boy’s
Voice cursing an exhilarated, out of its mind,

          Unappeasably inventive flow of
“Fuck fuck motherfuck” ecstasy that maybe
He imagines the neighborhood can't hear?—
                                                               or is his tongue wired
To some source of inspired but as yet unknown
Intelligence that radiates from all of us and he

          Is its mouthpiece, speaking it to the trees
That screen him from me listening to his
Unrelenting arias, predestined like birdsong
Flowing unbidden, of four-letter almost
Erotic keening over something I know too,

          Everybody knows?—
                                       and even if all it is
Is the “fuck fuck motherfuck” ecstasy
Of April budding in his mouth and sending down
Roots to some anti-self that sprouts and shadows
Him as it croons and shouts the song of its difference—

          Even then, this Billy whom I don’t think twice about
When we meet in the alley and slap palms
Or I see him playing alone on the swings of big kids’ slide,
Even then is he the vessel
                                          of some signal that uses us,
Down in the abyss irradiating him so that just this instant

          Whatever that other uses him for he can’t resist:
His voice an instrument of blissed-out torment
Until that grip flings him loose—
Who knows which of us it chooses to penetrate
Next, making us suddenly sweat or shiver,

That influence bathing everything budding
                                                             in profane rays.

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