Two Poems From ‘Helen in High Definition’

Red Scene 1933-6 Wyndham Lewis 1882-1957

 

Nekuia

Helen, we descend flagrant
into inclines of dissonance;
Silence is, of all these mouth-
pieces, the most voluble.

It engages in oracular
dispatches from podium &
social-media plinth, hollow
& insatiable, matched by

Gordian-knots of diaspora
too convoluted for this cartographer
to transcribe. Postmodernity
having spliced us into musak

or polyurethane narcissism,
greasy & malingering; &
so we descend to Tiresias,
down to Persephone who, with

her pomegranate fingering, can no
longer warm or bring fecund yields.
Technologia triumphant conducts
sterile rites with an aplomb

‘out of this world’ & to canned
applause, coined encomiums;
as we descend, maimed &
irritable, unable to learn

Calliope’s score by ear, trained
as we are to hermetic cadences,
lurching along obscure gullies
giving creativity over to chance,

broken to satisfaction as a
perfected work of art smarts
with its corrective wounds,
whose inflicting physician

disappears like the demiurge,
where only absolute questions
are allowed to breed & surge
into sublime permutations

deep beneath terra firma.
Here we find ourselves again
in quite different personae:
broken-hearted & broken upon

wheels of bespoke flame.

 

Catharsis

Burn through pity, Helen,
electrolysise fear; ensure
we are ‘bereft of all companions’
as, purified, we emerge

from deluge & earth tremor.
No need for condolence,
visits to rehab or souvenirs;
we are way beyond somnolence

& the use of prescribed opiates
to anaesthetise. Our horrified
personae are thrust into stage-sets
which deteriorate by design

after their accustomed tranche
of time. For too long
your auditorium has lynched
its flawed protagonists & flung

their corpses into Acheron
where fire gurgles with venom
from bank to bank; you watched
that infernal ballet unfold in such

fashion beneath Trojan walls
& could not blanch. Instead,
you cultivated your pulchritude
which overcame ethos, but appalled

absolutely no-one. Goya’s limbless
bodies were strewn across bough
& stream whilst, shameless,
the fighting became more foul.

I see your Catherine Deneuve
complexion: pale, inscrutable,
tracing its physiognomy of love
& lust which will paralyse

but still leave us purified.
Clearly the demiurge lied
when he charted out matter
with a legerdemain to fritter

away our fear & pity;
to burn through like beauty,
presumably yours, Helen,
of which I still have no notion.

 

Mark Wilson


This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two Poems From ‘Helen in High Definition’

  1. Ross McCague says:

    Invigorating and dramatic lyrical work. I somehow wanted to hear them in a slightly different way. Hope you find this edit amusing if slightly off-putting as it may not align with your vision of the work. Cheers.

    Helen, we descend flagrant
    into a world of dissonance;
    Silence is, of all these sonic-
    pieces, the most voluble.

    It engages in oracular
    dispatches not from podium &
    social-media plinth, hollow
    & insatiable; rather lost in

    Gordian-knots of diaspora
    too convoluted for this cartographer
    to transcribe. Postmodernity
    having spliced us into musak

    or polyurethane narcissism,
    greasy & malingering; &
    so we descend to Tiresias,
    down to Persephone who, with

    her pomegranate fingering, can no
    longer animate or bring resonant yields.
    Technologia triumphant conducts
    sterile rites with an aplomb

    ‘out of this world’ & to canned
    applause, coined encomiums;
    as we descend, maimed &
    flayed, unable to learn

    Calliope’s score by ear, trained
    as we are to hermetic cadences,
    lurching along obscure grooves
    giving creativity over to chance,

    broken to satisfaction as a
    perfected work of art smarts
    with its corrective wounds,
    whose inflicting physician

    disappears like the demiurge,
    where only absolute questions
    are allowed to breed & surge
    into sublime permutations

    deep within terra firma.
    Here we find ourselves again
    in quite different personae:
    broken-hearted & broken upon

    wheels of bespoken flame.

    Burn through pity, Helen,
    electrolysise fear; ensure
    we are ‘bereft of all companions’
    as, purified, we emerge

    from deluge & flesh tremor.
    No need for condolence,
    visits to rehabituate or score souvenirs;
    we are way beyond somnolence

    & the use of prescribed opiates
    to anaesthetise. Our mortified
    personae are thrust into stage-sets
    which crumble by design

    after their accustomed tranche
    of time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.