Simon the Good
I’m the matron-king of hell In yoga pants and a disused bra for a laurel & shatter the scene inside your simmering year Like a ransom scene filmed through shattered transom I smear in my glamour I make as if to justify the ways of God to man That’s my ticket in That’s why God lets me speak here Crystostoma’d on his couch Even though I’m derived from Hell Hellish Helenish Hellenic I’m the hanged man in this version pegged up in mine pegged jeans by mine ancles, an inversion mine manacles are monocoles I spit out the key and squinny through the keyhole back at the unquittable world In my rainment of gummy sunglasses and crows wings for epaulets I delicately squawk from the edges of things balance unsteadily on the bust of the goddess squawk: Aeschelus Euphorion Aeschelus Euphorion &: I’m going to tell you something so bad that when you hear it you’re gonna know it’s true. Like all the worst stories It comes from the heart & it goes there too. Back here in St. Joseph County a struck duck flies crown first into the asphalt and is stuck there with its brains for adhesive like someone licked the pavement and sealed it a postalette with its cartoon feet in the air and its Jeff Koon wings that’s roadkill for you: realer than real and the cars mill by with their wheels in reverse heavy as chariots in a dealership commercial and I am walking my dog by the river a matron from hell look on me and despise I am like the river: thick as beer and with a sudsy crown there polyethylene bags drape the banks like herons and a plastic jug rides a current with something like the determination that creases mine own brow as I attempt to burn my lunch off the determination of garbage riding for its drain hey-nonny it’s spring and everything wears a crown as it rides its thick doom to its noplace gently brushed by pollen by the wings of hymenoptera like a helicoptera performing its opera all above Indiana bearing the babes away from their births to their berths in the NICU in Indie-un-apple-us Unapple us, moron God, You’ve turned me Deophobic the greasy tracks you leave all over the internet the slicey DNA in the scramblechondria the torn jeans panicked like space invaders in an arcane video game oh spittle-pink blossom the tree don’t need nomore shook down to slick the pavement like a payslip you disused killer app each thought strikes my brain like the spirals in a ham pink pink for easter sliced by something machinic each thought zeros in flies hapless and demented festooned like a lawn dart finds its bit of eye spills its champagne split of pain then we come to our senses suddenly alone in the endzone
Copyright © 2018 by Joyelle McSweeney. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 13, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“This poem is impelled by my grief over my newborn daughter, Arachne, who died of an unexpected birth defect at thirteen days old. The poem conveys my ambivalence about my own survival and embodiment. After Arachne, I feel I am an inmate of this planet, forced to endure its seasons of beauty, hostility, and indifference. The title is a reference to Simon Le Bon, who has laid his earworms in my brain.”
Joyelle McSweeney is the author of nine books including three poetry collections, most recently Percussion Grenade: Poems and Plays (Fence Books, 2012)
Date Published: 2018-11-13
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/simon-good