10 February 2011

Razor and Maelstrom

Little whiskers swirling around
a sink like cool bone, sharp clicks
tapping the razor on the rim
drumming time to a tiny maelstrom
that drains away a swamp of memories
like who he used to be
what he thought he was becoming
where he wanted to have and hold,
just as the blue blades stripped,
scraped, exposed skin that missed
the sun for a few months, now gleaming
a smooth, pinkish strata of strange stone
unearthed by the slipping of fault lines
he thought were buried beyond recovery,
sub-oceanic plates scraping each other
smooth and raw, tremblors unleashed
as the razor fell from his fingers
crashing into the ocean gone pink,
there's blood in the water, he flinches,
staring into the mirror, Phobos and Deimos
stare out through his swollen eyes
that see the face not knowing itself
and questioning if this creature of nerves
will ever again find the quiet cave of home


  1. Julian Jaynes once asserted that "The Odyssey" was really a long trope on humankinds voyage from semi-conscious thrall of divinity (Odysseus stuck on the Isle of Circe) to a fully-conscious, armed-to-the-teeth homecoming just in time to dispatch all of his rivals for Penelope's bloomers. I get the sense of Odysseus lost at sea here, navigating his way home; the poem is brutal passage but shows a world beneath the wound or because of it. Those sons of Ares, Phobos and Deimos, naturally moons of Mars in the physical order, inherit the darker, unconscious nature of the father; the plight of the speaker seems historic to me, descended from older odysseys, personal of familal. Of course, the boys are masks, embossed on shields to inspire fear and terror in the opponent -- who stares back in the shaving-mirror, the warrior or the vanquished. I'm rambling, but this is a really sharp (ha ha) shave with truth. And its headed somewhere --home, I think ... -- Brendan

  2. exquisite pain, irish. i agree with blueoran, it IS headed somewhere, and I, too, believe it is home.

  3. Nothing is more terrifying than not recognizing one's own self.

  4. blueoran: Very well said, even if it was rambling. The idea of warrior or vanquished is central to the theme.

    Tara: I seem to lapidary when it comes to certain types of pain :)

    Sweet Cheeks: Yep, exactly.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...