The gay sublime
Or: Once affronted, twice awed
– – – – – – – –
“What makes them precarious,”
says the wit, “also makes them
sovereign.” When he married us
the preacher either winked
or winced, between paralysis
and his intense fascination.
After the notion comes the spasm,
woeful, quick, religious
as the deathbed or the orgasm.
The size of distracted sanity
which itself is but distraction
provokes no seizure like mankind
laid with mankind. As for Scripture:
poets, of limited means all,
undress the economic gall
of men who deserted themselves
for fear of admiring hell,
though it needs no thrall but theirs,
and frequents relentless us
who don’t manufacture narcotics
in our heads how the zealots must.
Who was vain enough to invent sanity,
sane enough vanity, cruel enough lust?
We love too little and loathe too much,
for every temple is patent horrible,
every man but a first draft of dust.
And the grim world shuffles intact yet.