stanley moss | the hawk, the serpent, and the cloud

6 12 2007


Poetry Dispatch No. 175 | July 20, 2007


In writing, he moved from the word I,
the word once a serpent curled between the rocks,
to he, the word once a hawk drifting above the reeds,
back to we: a nest of serpents.
Of course the hawk attacked the serpents.
She became a cloud, nursed us, mothered us,
scrubbed us with rain. I, once a serpent, know the Chinese
character for he is a standing figure,
the sign for she is a kneeling figure,
the world cloud is formed by two horizontal waves upon a plain,
and that in writing Chinese
you must show feeling for different parts of the word.
Writing contains painting and painting writing,
Each is bird and sky to the other, soil and flower.

stanley moss | psalm

6 12 2007


Poetry Dispatch No. 174 | July 11, 2007

PSALM by Stanley Moss

God of paper and writing, God of first and last drafts,
God of dislikes, God of everyday occasions—
He is not my servant, does not work for tips.
Under the dome of the Roman Pantheon,
God in three persons carries a cross on his back
as an aging centaur, hands bound behind his back, carries Eros.
Chinese God of examinations: bloodwork, biopsy,
urine analysis, grant me the grade of fair in the study of dark holes,
fair in anus, self-knowledge, and the leaves of the vagina
like the pages of a book in the vision of Ezekiel.
May I also open my mouth and read the book by eating it,
swallow its meaning. My Shepherd, let me continue to just pass
in the army of the living, keep me from the ranks of the excellent dead.
It’s t rue I worshipped Aphrodite,
who has driven me off with her slipper
after my worst ways pleased her.
I make noise for the Lord.
My Shepherd, I want, I want, I want.