Tag: my poetry

POEM: Forty-nine Graves

If you want to know whether guns kill people
or whether people kill people
if you want to know whether words break bones
or if only sticks and stones can do that
if you want to know what happens
when a word like “faggot” puts bullets
like stones in a gun like a stick
and a word like “dyke” makes the gun erupt
like a super-volcano with five thousand years
of hatred, disgust, condemnation
if you want to know whether homophobia kills
whether fear of The Other really has power
there are forty-nine graves in Orlando,
Florida that weren’t there a week ago
that will answer your questions
with their silence.

(With thanks to Richard on Tumblr. Originally posted on Antinous for Everybody, 6/25/2016)

POEM: Protest March

Hosanna to the Son of David
Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord

Cut the branches
Go out and cut the branches
Willow and pussywillow
Palm and pine tree
Lulav and thyrsus and bunches of daffodils
It’s time for a protest march

The children of the Hebrews
spread in the way their garments and
cried out, saying

Black lives matter
Trans lives matter
Six million Jews in the ovens of Hitler
Black boys and men on the streets of America

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord
Blessed are those who march in the name of justice
in the name of Jesus, in the name of King,
in the name of Attis, in the name of Dionysus,
in the name of Antinous
Hosanna in the highest

Cut back the flowers
that are just now sprouting
cut back the new shoots on the old trees
make signs, wear hats, wave rainbow flags
blessed is the one who comes in peace,
riding on an ass and not on a stallion
riding on a donkey and not in a chariot
riding on an ass and not in a tank
Hosanna in the highest

The young man dies and the old ones go on
The King of Peace dies and the warmakers live
The beautiful youth dies and his blood becomes flowers
the black boys die and their blood flows in the streets
Poison flows out of the faucets of Flint
Where is the clean water out of the temple?
Where is the city that is at unity with itself?

Hosanna to the Son of David
Jesus went into the city
and threw out the moneychangers from the Temple
the buyers and sellers, the currency exchangers,
the dealers in doves, the gougers of prices
do you think that had nothing to do
with why they killed him?
Break out the palms and sing hosanna
This is a protest march

FLASHBACK: Glykonalia

Glycon
On this day, the serpent’s day, the Glykonalia, let us give praise to Glykon.
If you are mad, Glykon will bring you sanity.
If you are sane, Glykon will drive you mad.
If you are mentally ill, Glykon offers healing.
If you believe you are well, and that your view is the only correct view,
Glykon will derange your mind.
If your back is stiff, Glykon’s dance will help you to loosen.
If you are a spineless idiot, Glykon will put some backbone into you.
If you have the plague, Glykon’s embrace will cure you.
If you are afraid of contagion, Glykon’s sweet bite will rot your bones.
If you fear the snake, you will never know yourself.
If you fear yourself, you will never dance with Glykon.
Son of Asklepios, son of Apollo, son of Zeus,
honor the green-scaled, golden-haired one,
the laughing snake deity, the sock puppet that moves on its own.
Honor Glykon, sweetest of serpents,
honor him with sweets and laughter,
and you will be well.

FLASHBACK: Dendrophoroi

statue_of_a_reclining_attis_at_the_shrine_of_attis_1

Cut the branches for Attis
the pine and the pine cone
carry them solemnly
wave the branches for Yeshua
willow, myrtle, palm
the transplanted lulav carried over from autumn
no pine cone, no etrog
for the ass-borne king
cut the lettuces for Adonis
withering in the sudden heat
under the sun’s regard
hoist the branches, cull the flowers
carry the phallos in procession
all these tender fragile things
springing up, then cut down
thrown away
blood on the black soil
the earth bearing flowers
whispering mushrooms
the women weep for the dead young men
where are the old men? what do they say?

(Originally posted at Antinous for Everybody)

POEM: Snakes, clover, and beer

“I’ll take those snakes please,
if you’re finished with them,”
said Dionysus, “and
the little green plant with
the three-lobed leaf that
is everywhere abundant,
food of cattle, source of milk.
If you won’t drink wine,
I’ll press your vines
and make gallons of the stuff,
stain your black beer
with the green of the earth
and spill it on the streets
of asphalt. Call it Mardi Gras
when women bear their breasts
for beads and men cavort
in women’s costumes, if
it makes you feel better,
call it St. Patrick’s day
when the drinking won’t stop
weeks later, call it sin
when the thirst for life,
for joy, is never quenched,
but it is I, Dionysus and
Bacchus and Liber, to whom
those thirsty drunks call.”

FLASHBACK: The Birth of Pancrates

Child of air and earth and water
Child of peace and truth and beauty
Child of eagle and bull and serpent
O fiery one, O most powerful, O leaping lion:
Hail, Pancrates!
On this day celebrating your birth
I breathe deep
and plant my feet wide
and feel the tides surging
I call on the height of the eagle
the steadfastness of the bull
the suppleness of the serpent
I open my mouth to speak
of peace and truth and beauty
and in your name I roar
I leap
I breathe fire
Hail!

(Originally posted to Antinous for Everybody in 2016)

FLASHBACK: For the Liberalia

Liber et Libera: A Dialogue

You are my brother.

You are my sister.

You are my husband.

You are my wife.

Your sister, your bride.

My maiden, my tragedy.

You went down into the underworld.

I raised you to the stars.

I thought I had lost you.

I thought I would never find you.

I am parthenos and hetaira.

I am the lover of women and of men.

You have ivy in your hair.

You have wine in your lap.

I have never loved anyone else.

I have only ever loved you.

Every one you have touched has been me.

No one touched you until I came.

Every one that I wanted was you.

You are every soul that I have desired.

We will make the flowers bloom.

We will make the seeds sprout.

We will make the cocks rise.

We will make the grain grow high.

We will pour out wine for everybody.

All the revellers will pour out wine for us.

I give you my heart and soul.

I give you my joy and madness.

I am your sister, your wife, the starry-crowned goddess of the heavens.

I am your brother, your husband, the ivy-crowned bull of the earth.

I am Ariadne, Persephone, Libera.

I am Dionysus, Asterios, Liber.

Liberation for All

From the opposite ends of the world they come together,
brother and sister, mirror twins, husband and wife.
Sometimes he is a bull-headed man
and she is the only one who knows how to find him.
Sometimes she is trapped on an island
and he is the only one who can rescue her.
Sometimes she watches from the stars
while he wanders the underworld and sleeps
in the arms of its goddess. Sometimes
he takes her hand and reminds her that she is
the underworld goddess, white-armed,
dark-eyed, implacable.

They are siblings who have never met.
They are spouses who are never separated.
She has always been here; he has always been there.
The grain and the grape, the myrtle and the ivy,
the bull and the princess who leaps between his horns.
He presides when boys stand up and put on the garments
of manhood; she whispers softly in the night as girls,
dreaming, become women, and hands them the key
to the labyrinth and the clue that will guide them through.

A cup of wine for Liber! A sweet cake for Libera!
Raise up the sacred phallus and honor it
with a wreath of flowers! Father Liber makes men
of boys, and Dame Libera opens the labyrinth
and sets all its prisoners free! Liberation for all!

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(Originally published on Antinous for Everybody in 2015 & 2016)