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Turks and Diamonds


carbon gods come diamonds

oldest terrestrial object is a zircon 4.404 billion years-old from the time
when the gods came in zircons

the man charged with carrying the head of the turk on a stake

walking barefoot through pigshit and oyster shells

didn’t care what the oldest object was

he was holding the freshest and it filled his mental horizon

this was one of those crossroads in history

when people paralyzed by terror crossed themselves

with their tongues in their mouths

the only parts of them that moved their knees were locked

and this crossroads occurred and occurs so often

history is criss-crossed and cross-hatched so densely

only a very small alien with a missile-shaped head

may weave in and out of terror like a needle

to bring us news of paradise

which he does restlessly and one wonders why

because he’s an alien and a poet that’s why


what exactly was the whole

with all the missing parts and the ones

the mind made up to add

I tried to find out by returning

thought to thought

the need for describing

was never less but also never more urgent

as people are generally agreed on the most

common descriptions with their allowed

bits of surrealism

so while everybody is bored by alternatives

no one is too sure that the description they have

subscribed to on four thousand channels or more

is the real one so now and then they allow

an unapproved story teller to give his version

then scram! outta here! that was enough upset!

besides it resembles just what they had paid for

minus all the extra lamentations and adjectives

protein is protein

though the turk’s head on stake is for example not eating

an example that fades from mind every five seconds

the maximum of terror that the mind can hold

like a carnivorous weed in the eye of an octopus

instead of describing one could analyse

which is what reeds of terror are doing in the deep

passing on their knowledge electrically with the tips

of their tentacles that sport open eyes

and that is steady work stimulated by attention drugs

delivered by shark fins and soft scales on their way

to other feeding grounds

where things are slowed down to a degree

that makes them observable anew and edible

slow enough to be sexy and taken in at a glance

by eye and mouth

sure one needs loads of time for that

but if one is weilding the reeds of terror

and the memories that constantly escape them

who can tell if the new

observations aren’t just the old observations

slowed down long enough to devour themselves

fattened by feedback

no one can

time is more precious in the deep


as for me the poet

the cave is a new way of looking

both in and out at the same time

the outside is alive and proliferating

a transitional shudder of speeded-up motion

explosions of chlorophyll and protein and joy

and the inside is geological and slow

cosmic vaginas of stone cascading back to creation

waves of diamonds and coal

rolling past ages of petrified life forms

I can still go out or I can retreat into the dark  

I think I’ll just sit here while the metaphor takes shape


this wilderness

cultivated by elegant black ants

former fred astaires

turn mid-dance into ant-waisted people

with a yen for sweat and juice intime

the only thing they carry over to anthood

from the time when they were human

not far I hear guinea hens or turkeys

things with flat bills that rub slat over slat

of hardened tissue not quite bone

and garnish it with a deep growl

bellows below the skin

I study them like a fork

calculating where I should stab them

before I eat them in the human road

glad somebody with my ear is here to hear them

the tone-deaf would have died of hunger here


poem of mind over mind

body over body

cave of the rising sun

I am your one weird bat






[Originally published in NHS 2006, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs06/Cedrescu.htm.]