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Poetry #313
(published January 18, 2007)
The Hieroglyphic Bard
by Papa Osmubal
1. HIEROGLYPH

our elders
believed (and told
us) the gods
spoke to them
and they etched
their voice
on rocks
and in their
dreams

 

2. AT A SEMINAR

The hall is full of faces
many of them familiar
most of them sleepy.
A man talks about something he knows
that he thinks we do not know.
He is totally into it: the mic
is like a natural part of his body,
a surgeon is needed to sever it from him.
A guy next to me turns,
he smiles, he lazily shakes his head;
then, he closes his eyes to sleep or to daydream.

 

3. LOOKING AT PAUL VERLAINE'S PHOTO

You, Verlaine, are a statue
and you deserve to be so
because you defy time.
In your eyes is a distance full of dreams—
winged dreams, dreamed wings.
You, Verlaine, are a statue—
your gaze is hieroglyph
your gaze is undecipherable.

 

4. THE BARD
(after Pepe Gotera's and Robert Wilson's poems of the same title)

He looks at the blank paper as though his gaze
would miraculously carve words on it

His candle is growing shorter now
its lazy flame ready to slumber

The shadows are tired and the lizards
that were on the ceiling have all gone

It is going to be very dark soon
he sips his wine and imagines the sky

Because he has to write and invent stars and eyes
because it is going to be very dark soon

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