(the elephant goad)

the elephant goad

the elephant goad

the elephant goad where it was toad


Emily Dickinson Goes Nuts

I dreamt I had a silver sponge —
I held it in my hand;
I stood where jet-black rivers plunge
into transparent land —

I dreamt I saw a shepherd’s hut
on velvet mountain pass;
The windowpanes were solid rock;
the walls of clearest glass —

I brushed past curtains made of stone,
and when I’d entered in,
I met a horrid man of bone
whose teeth were made of skin.

He handed me the silver sponge —
at once I was transported
into a place where muskellunge
and wolverines cavorted.

I dreamt I had a silken sword —
I woke, and I had none —
And so I wandered out the door
And melted in the sun.


Three More Bells for Edgar Poe

Another left-handed homage to Poe. This one is definitely not for kids.

I.

Hear the ringing of the bells,
      Front-door bells!
Time to open up the door and see what this one sells:
      Thirty Days to Total Fitness?
            “Act today! You’ll get a present!”
      Or a mad Jehovah’s Witness
            Come to make herself unpleasant?
      Come to pry at your endurance
            Every Tupperwhere you look?
      Come to sell you life insurance,
            Or a Dianetics book?
Come to ring upon the bell,
      on the bell, bell bell —
You can never, ever tell
      by the bell
            if they mean you ill or well.
      Then the buzzing of the clock you
            couldn’t stand at 5 a.m.,
      Or the loud alarms that shock you
      When a burglar breaks your lock? You
            Wax nostalgic over them.
You can never, ever tell
      Not by sight or sound or smell,
Who’s come ringing at the bell,
      at the bell, bell, bell;
Damn the bell, bell, bell, bell,
      bell, bell, bell;
Something worse than just a curse upon the bell.

II.

Hear the droning of the bells,
      Bismuth bells,
From the stern monotony of bureaucratic hells!
      How you whimper, whimper, whimper
            As their voices crash to earth,
      Drag your drooping spirits limper
            And exungulate your mirth!
      How the hellish, heavy thunder
            Pounding down about your head
      Seems to split the world asunder
            With the crying of the dying
            And the groaning of the dead!
      As the bells strain in their courses,
            Comes Apocalypse, no less:
      Unimaginable forces —
      Seven wraiths on demon horses —
            OH MY GOD! THE I.R.S.!!

Carried forward by the knells
      Of the bells, bells, bells,
And the pounding of the hoofbeats
      That come raining down like shells —
To the bleating and the beating
      of the bells, bells, bells
            Of the bells, etc.
And the taxes, and the bills!
      And the bills, bills, bills,
For they’ve got you by the balls
      With the bills
And the sense of deep futility that flatteningly falls
On the balls, balls, balls, balls,
      Balls, balls, balls
From the tolling of the bureaucratic bells.

III.

Hear the boinging of the bells,
      Rubber bells!
What a world of imbecility their peal compels!
      How they blither, blither, blither
            In the trembling ear of night;
      And their music, bumbling hither,
      Makes the cerebellum wither
            With its idiot’s delight.
      And you can’t escape the feeling
            As you stand amid the din:
      If the bells continue pealing,
            Soon you won’t have any skin.
They are neither dead nor living —
Neither vengeful nor forgiving —
      They are boobs,
And their god it is who giggles
      As he jiggles, jiggles, jiggles,
Jiggles panic from the bells,
      From the bells;
And his frilly wimple wiggles,
      And his merry organ swells
And accompanies the bells —
      Oh, the bells, bells, bells,
Ugh! the bells, bills, boils, biles,
      bowels, bulls, bells!
Oh, the drooling and the puling of the bells.