Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Poem: "The Dilapidated God"


The Dilapidated God

A depilated dog would not look well.
—Elizabeth Bishop, “Pink Dog”

He lives in a dilapidated god or he is one,
he isn’t very sure. The blurry windows are his eyes
or windows that will not rub clean and so are given up

to time’s deposits and air’s irreversible chemistry.
The roof is thinning, he is sure, for when it rains he feels
the water seep through the plaster of the ceiling, drip

on the furniture and lick his hands, leaving on them
a thin layer of mucus that stains everything he touches.
Or he is stained by what he touches. He can’t be sure.

When his god was strong, strong with the bright consciousness of strength,
his god was clearly two. His body was a vital stroke
and outside of his sword the world flashes like a sword.

But now the water in the sink goes down slowly and he
doesn’t know where the problem is. He knows he can’t fix it
but it would be some comfort to know what’s holding it up.

*

2 comments:

Shropshirelad said...

Better and better. Each of the poems in this series grows in strength!

The detail of the clogged water is perfect. The two ways it can be read. Glorious. I am envious.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks. A couple of places are rhythmically awkward, but I don't have time yet to straighten them out.