Selected Poets and Poems
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Unfastened by time and by history,
Garry Morgan visits the great Saint David
just as he drops from the belly of his mum.
The future saint knows less about this world
than Garry who offers him a leek to chew on.
Na, na, don’t let the baby eat that weed,
says the mum, also to be named a saint.
What do you think he is, a goat?
Go get us some dragon, why don’t you,
and I shall cook us a feast.
So Garry turns toward the smallest city
in the world to find a Sainsburys
where the meat is so fresh
the bloody butcher has to yell at it to be still.
But no dragons.
He slumps into the Donkey Club
where generations of shepherds have drunk
their Brains until their cloven-hoofed livestock
shut them down like mines.
He is drawn to a woman fluent in allegory.
Garry suspects she’s legendary when he smells
her charred breath, looks into her red eyes.
He would like to shag her, but instead must hop her back—
more than a candle in the thighs—
before she can melt his skin to wax.
Maybe she’s an angel, thinks he,
flying her, steering her toward the abbey
where she will be stewed into heritage
and fable, flag and supper.
Garry joins the saints as they devour
her light which decks their bones,
nourishes their flesh, strengthens
their myths and limbs, blood and halos.
One night at moonrise Faunus came—
or was it Pan? He only shrugged when
I pressed him on the difference—pressed
himself to me, and I to him, pressed
against his massive shoulders, broad back
and hands. Elemental, blonder than
I’d imagined him, clasping us together
for my life’s duration. I make his bed,
his scotch and dinner, offer domesticity.
I clean his clothes, the false front
I’ve persuaded him to wear. They hide
his shaggy haunches, split hooves.
And underneath the stetson, two stubbed
blunt horns. Sometimes he goes away
to walk the wilder places, touching tree,
pelt, stone, and when he comes again
I see the moon’s reflection rising in his eyes.
All the old ladies
were yelling at me
that day I ran across Montgomery Street
without looking both ways
and I wasn’t that apologetic
since I didn’t see the car
or even hear tires squeal
and as far as I could tell
absolutely nothing had happened
in fact it seemed like they made it up
to convince me I was bad
because my parents rarely scolded me
and maybe these old ladies
in their winter coats with little fur collars
and their shopping carts
could tell by looking
that I had a deficit of scolding
or maybe they couldn’t help seeing tragedy
about to happen
because of what happened in Europe
before they got out
just in time
and so they were always on the verge
of being startled
at what could happen at any moment
which I knew with absolute certainty