Oyster Boy Review 08  
  January 1998
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» Levee 67


Sack, Sesame, Poppy, Camel, Hour

Jon Powell

Ontologically, all I want to write about
                                                                    is my cock.
That aged & wrinkled & wracked member
who wants to go strolling w/o me.
Cruising parks & bars & supermarkets
for likely vaginous shelters from the storm.
Anything to get away from me.
Away from my back seat driving
& constant nagging to get a life.

It happens w/ every poem I start.

Say I want to write about brown pelicans
& their gracefully inelegant landings
into the black pearl waters of the canal
out back of my apartment;
how they drift down an autumnal twilit sky
as messages from God: Here: even my most foolish
                                                                    have beauty.

Or I could want to write of the serpent
leaning down to Eve from his branch
in the Acacia tree (or should I make it Juniper?)
& leeringly saying,
"eat this peach, Babe, & you run the risk
that your eyes shall be opened,
& you shall be as gods knowing good & evil."

Or I could want to write of Sumer & the city of Ur,
4000 years before Christ.
How the gods Inanna & Dumuzi
                                                  (who Ezekiel would call Tammuz)
led seasonal lives of death & resurrection
& how they went through the netherworld
filled w/love & hate for one another;
how gods like Enki ate forbidden fruit in Paradise
or Ziusudra was saved from the flood that covered
                                                              the world.
I could write of Sumerian invention:
written language, codified law, the 12 month year,
                                                                    the week, the zodiac,
& how they gave us words like
sack & sesame & camel & poppy & hour.

Say I want to write these words.
Put down on paper these lamentations,
these balms from my heart & soul,
& liberate humankind from fears
that enslave.
Well, I can't. I'm simply unable.
Because my cock won't let me.
Pitty me for I am doomed.
I must sit @ my desk, & start every poem
always w/these words:

"Ontologically, all I want to write about
                                                                    is my cock."