Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Irritable Mystic

"mu" fifth part —

  His they their
we, their he
 his was but if
need be one,
                    self-
  extinguishing
I, neither sham nor
 excuse yet an
alibi, exited, 
                  out, 
                         else
the only where
 he'd be. 

              Before
the long since
  remaindered
 body, imagines
each crack, each
    crevice as it sweats
   under cloth,
                    numbed
  inarticulate
                   tongues touching
     down on love's endlessly
 warmed-over thigh. 
                             The awaited one
    she mistook him for haunts
       him, tells him in
     dreams he told 
                            him so.
       Such offense,
   but at what
      won't say, 
                     moot 
   remonstrance, 
                       no resolve if not
      not to be caught 
                             out. . .

     Abstract advance, its
    advantage unproved,
       unbelieved-in,
                            vain
     what wish would
 give. . . 
             Late eighties 
                                night
momentarily bleached by
         bomblight. Awoke,
     maybe inwardly wanted
                                       it, 
       wrestling with dreams 
                                      of the
 awaited one again. 
                            Thought
back but a moment later
        what moodier start
     to have gotten off
                                to,
       angered by that but
 begrudged it its impact
                                and
     so sits remembering,
         pretending, shrugs it
off. . . 

             Arced harp. Dark
     bent-over body. Esoteric
         sun whose boat its
                                     back
 upheld. . . 
                 Unseizably
vast underbelly of
                           light,
       limb-letting thrust. 
                                  Tread of
     hoofs. Weighted udders of
 dust. . . 
               His it their she
once they awake, 
                                 the 
       arisen one, 
                        world
           at her feet, 
                                 her feet 
       one with their 
                           rapture,
   ankledeep in damage
                                   though she 
           dances. . . 
 The slippings off
                         of her
 of their hands define
her hips, whose are
       the suns whose
                              heat
           his nights taste 
                                  of 
     and as at last he
       lies her legs loom, 
                                   naked,
 loose gown pulled from
           her, sleep 
                           turns.
And he with his 
                         postures
           cramps the air, 
                                 bent 
       lotuslike, lips
                           part kiss, 
                                           part 
         pout

Credit


From School of Udhra by Nathaniel Mackey. Copyright © 1993 by Nathaniel Mackey. Reprinted by permission of City Lights Books. All rights reserved.

Author


Nathaniel Mackey

Born in 1947 in Miami, Florida, poet and novelist Nathaniel Mackey was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007.

Date Published: 1993-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/irritable-mystic