Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Rat's Alley, Where Dead Men Lost Their Bones*

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supplanters of memory
standing beaters of lust
starving for power
unanimous monsters
you cast your machines in
the appearance of the golden calf
you wait for steamers and their cargo:
hideous apparatus of poorer fortune
approaching, you shoot off the blooms
under your flags of agreement-
they wave under tentative clouds-
you hide your murders beneath their standard.


beneath these arches
yes, yes, the air is on fire
polite birds cast themselves down
from the chimney tops
breaking their eggs as they fall
a cricket rides a horse at
the front of a line of boys their
legs in irons,
excited rabbis wait to
place a crown on the head of the master weaver
fate falls
orb and mantle, colorless beneath the sword
in the distance a wren warbles
a clarion of baptism
an eater of weeds.

*T.S. Eliot "The Wasteland"

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