Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Black Forest - Christopher DeWeese

A boorish silence fills the forest
like a carpet around the rich.
Trees fall just to be chivalrous,
maiming highwaymen.
The forest is full of syphilis,
I don't care who caused it.
Tax incentives for dying
make me worry about the government,
but it is a human thing
to worry over my penis,
what a human thing it is
to hold your children
as bandits dismember the night
and feed it to their hounds.
It is a soundless terror
inscribed against the ice,
where swineherds mistake laundry
for drowned ghosts.
It is a tiny map I swallow.
"Between one castle and another,
the world is a moat,"
says my coachman.
His words float like leaves,
a trail behind me.
"In times of peace,
it seems quite foolish
to harness your chest
against a giant, heavy flag,"
says my soldier.
When we stop at a crossroads
we all weep like philosophers,
automatically regretting
the anatomical future
our decisions sketch ahead of us,
the premonition of etiquette
and its attendant colonies
stretching rumors
of damp, paranoid vacations
amongst our number.
"On an island, you can't trust anyone,"
says my artist,
who is also an inventor.
One solution is to ride furiously,
blurring what should be scenic
into a genealogy of wind,
branches ripping gently
as if the trees were rehearsing
a modern war.
Another is to part ways forever
under the same name,
confronting scholars
with alternate endings
which are exactly the same
but for the question of a beard.
It's been done before.
As I ride Eastward,
I can hear my biographer
furiously dictating
his own adventures,
enthusiastically citing swans
like a boring lake.
Alone, the forest becomes a room,
the moss turned down
and the brambles tamed.
I stop at a clearing
and the snake inside me
whispers that I should get naked,
slithering over dead leaves
until who I have been
is a crisp windsock,
a trumpet made of tissue,
a translucent cathedral
where all the little villains go to play.

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