Surcos

Surcos.

A CHOICE STILLED IN 33 FRAMES AFTER NICOLÁS GONZÁLEZ CAMINO
I
& still he throws his arms out wide “to love the beauty of his bullets.” Still slouching toward the light yes we’ve been here before in yellow
Altamira cavemen and kings streaks in the night.
Still the witches in full flurry spiral on the tail of a scalloped moon
from where down below we seem so inconsiderate.
Still the ass sits now in the house out of the byre. You carried him
all the way on your back through the sludge.
Buried still under the barbed wire in the stone cold ground petrified
in a breach in the hillside no one will plough around and all
his travelling done.
& still they tell it so. Sit filthily innocent on the throne and pierced
bleed.
Still, any wonder a disappointed Christ? Blackened swept bereft while
Brute Chaos turns his hips.
& still you watch, boina-wept and sealskinned on dry land under a
thankless blue moon.
II
Creeled and kept he slept at the waterfont while Sisyphus schlepped the weight of it all on his back. And well-swept she sat prepped after a birching on the ghosted beech-bark peelings that smudge the underside of the linen white. In the loft the ladder leads to an uncle in the attic craned over his mending wings that will never take flight in blue or white. Cramped as he is with his surgical work he only wishes he could razorbleed out over all the lambslaughter. But then skip a line between the locket left the limp father of thousands and locket right a languid floating flower grey water washed down the fossil plain of trinkets the last the final ribs distilled from all the living & all the dead the earth rolled over. The pigment blown from the darkness into the light through a shattered crust from where a moth rises beating its redwings over a crested rider’s heart that gallops though the arch as Manannán slips out from the deep whispering the changes to come.

III
& still the bearded lady and Neptune’s baby Napoleon pointing
Encore!
& still your heart and still your dreams in the hands of the Dervish constellation who dancing spins the night sky over all our childish goals.
Stilled the cudgel in the amethyst light as the crowd sways while the ropes fall away and she spins into place the switch from pummel to poise.
Still turning it over she draws the plough across the earth over the old fish bones the fish feather crest and the Erinyes quiet at last.
With one arm raised she rings the bell through your quiet abode where still you watch paint down the wall
still keep an eye on the water all weight all wash all worry as the story pour runs down the floor.
Yet still she won’t turn her back as you fall.
So be still

KEITH PAYNE

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