Old Obsessions

His fingers are dirty; the Danish Prince
has been digging in the dirt again.
Hell-bound are these, his royal hands;
Into Hades itself he's sunk them,
and his pared nails, pretty and polished.
And so at last I ask him, "Lord,
why is it that you wait here still,
scuffling and scrabbling in this skull-yard?
Mad Prince, mighty one, the mead-hall waits,
the door to be dashed by your muddy fists,
vengeance demanded of the deadly king!"
He frowns and says to me, "My friend,
it's you who wait here, and without reason,
your ink-dark'd fingers telling forever,
with spider movements, spells of runes,
my story to these silences. Long since,
the captains should have carried me,
dead, out of the bloody hall of doom
down into this same deadly dirt."

3/2/00, 4/27/00

Jim Genzano




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