Beauty, Bowdlerized as Truth

Beauty, Bowdlerized as Truth

Understanding is the Sphinx’ death,
Bursting mystery’s numinous bubble.
Answers kill wonder and awe.
Wisdom slays childhood and innocence.
Sobriety and moderation
Chain the manic frenzy of inspiration,
Where formerly daemon and muse took possession.

Beyond the bronze of being,
The mind’s lust fantasizes,
Stripping Draupadi naked
From her infinite attire.
The more we pull and yank,
The more she spins,
A dervish uncontrolled.
Heidegger, that red-eyed elder peeping,
Spies Being, bathing in her garden,
“Preferring not to” is her sweet refrain.
Our minds becomes entangled.
And it is then we know
That thought leads not the way out of this cave.
Our starry, upward gaze is dizzying.

I am an ugly Daedelus, singed
By perfection imagined, out of reach.
This vicious syndrome,
Poems amplified
In Phalerus’ infundibulum,
Have deafened me
More than waxen Sirens’ antidotes.
Psalms, become sonnets, reverting, again psalmic;
Sonic booms,
As time comes to a
Light-speed’s screeching halt,
And galaxies implode,
To singularities.

Can a poem be discussed in prose?
Or is the tuning fork, in sympathy,
Trembling, in vrittic emulation,
The only accord reached?

(written during the NYC SJ alumni seminar on Baudelaire)

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