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slaying the old man

10 June 2010

the old man speaks from the deeps of the cave
and chants the ancient qualities of the name
(idolatry–heresy–the adoration of the unknown
but ignorance of the personal energetics)
over and over and over in kabbalistic questing;
and the jesting of the inner fool speaks
in riddles and rhymes, wasting time,
trapping the heart and ensorcelling the mind
until, at least, all love and life is left behind
in favor of a simulacrum, the golden calf
of the wealth of the self exchanged for the health of the soul–
tempted again by the uses of the brass bowl,
brewing a pot of black-oak water
calling out to the hills, summoning the river-woman’s daughter,
staring into the deeps of the flames,
shuffling the deck where the Emperor and Hermit change places
and the Tower falls, crushed underneath Fortune’s reversed wheel
disaster, catastrophe, tragedy, adversity
over and over and over until…
at last the old man is slain with the weapon of the Cross
and the loss and the pain make one whole again
as in humility and penitence at last i kneel
weeping bitter tears:
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 June 2010 19:46

    As I started reading this, for some reason I thought of the Orthodox “Jesus prayer” — and then the last line turns out to be exactly that. This is beautiful and terrible (in reference to awe) all at the same time.

    • 11 June 2010 01:41

      Wow, that is a strange coincidence (and I don’t believe in coincidence–I’m Orthodox after all). This one is terrible, in the sense that it is truly one of the most mirror-like pieces I’ve ever written. There is virtually no artistic distance from it. As ever, thanks for the compliment, Glynn.

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