In a haunted corner of my mind,
I see myself knee-deep
in the surf, unnoticed by the ungodly gods
as they sink a collective toe in the sand,
murmuring a militant tongue, carving
the profile of a monstrous nose.
I stare in consternation,
when their rhinolithic creation looms
to a prominence of peccant and
I see emerging from the sea a file
of comic strip automatons gape on cue
at specters on a yoyo string laughing
upside down at nasophantoms
scaling the craggy snout, reaching heights
of sisyphyean absurdity--and at once
the land is darkened by a nostric shadow
consuming minds innocent and asleep.
I watch a mythologic prothonotary copy it
in plutonism ink, hear a chorus of ecclesia
clamor, rescue us from apathy.
Behind my eyes a radar screen picks up
a nasonoic tic flaunting dime store wisdom
in a holy roller twang, guzzling bootleg
grandeur, refusing to rhyme a reason,
masquerading in euphemisms, writing
bucolic platitudes in pigeon toed pentameter.
I hear a cry: the mighty nose was born and
man grew on, a polyp breathing nostric oxide
through the anus of a nasogod.
The voice of Gertrude Stein replies,
c'est vrai, and again, c'est vrai, c'est vrai.
An oracle screams in whispers no one hears,
beware the humpnose Quasimodo
without a bell to ring, a wrist to stand on,
a tide to turn, a hell to pay.
In my cups I see dregs of history
skidding down a gargantuan alp flaming
at the nose, a proboscidian spectacle,
its snarl tattooed on the Scourge of God
who packs his trunks with stolen goods
and rapes the Son of Mars.
High in Atahualpa’s ancient hills
I see rhinofied conquistadores rescue souls
no one lost, marching to the cadence
of Inca dinca doom.
In rhythms of another time,
nobody pays attention
when a paperhanging sonofabitch,
trailed by honking geese, burns a scarlet letter
on the Chosen, and nobody pays the ransom.
Complacent scribes and commentators
dub the rhinopuffinflitzenkreigen a Chaplin
comedy, and no one sees the funny part,
and no one thinks to call it quits.
No one thinks at all.
Even Yankee Doodle ties his tongue
until Mister Moto yells surprise! Then
in a fit of eloquence, he swings a shift,
wraps his arms in lucky foil, and rues the day
that Nola dropped her Little Boy.
On the tube I see Tail Gunner Joe riding
an ism, shouting libertine obsceneties
at imaginary spooks he colored red
on a maladaptive blacklist that stretched
from sea to shining sea.
And in the gathering nasomania I see
young ideas in lettered names and black
belated dreams, lusters on a tarnished time,
vanish one by one by one.
To be continued…