Tuesday, December 3, 2013

poem || Jeff Harrison

The Seven Wonders of Max Beerbohm‏


the Great Pyramid of Giza precedes
the maples, the oaks, some hold.
located at the necropolis of Memphis.
at the point of the Pyramid is the regard
of 42 centuries. heaviest shroud on earth.



overlook the full surroundings
& sink into Scheherazade's satchel
bubble up carefully & come forward
bare-handed as the brow of Amyitis

now each off-hand phrase
has at least some warmth
intermediate enough,
Nebuchadnezzar enough

yes! yes! send me any flounce
from any scene! the trifles open naturally,
now even the sharpest use
Observatory telescopes to see 'em,

though they still come to us stooped
& obsequious, bubbled up to come forward
THIRST - my first vicinity was a tolerably warm
boot upon a road lately removed, a cynical hold upon

the lurking tearfuls... N E B U C H A D N E Z Z A R
finding prey with his forefinger, just another snake shifting &
craning to come forward out from the full surroundings, this
perseverance is a centaur hueless beside remains of fair weather

anchor to swim blood-dyed in intonation, blood to vindicate a
dog short of hands, some day I'll lay a pair of gloves on her brow
until then, the whole story is vigorous as ever... the story is
the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (never existed outside fiction)



his right hand alofts Victory ivory & gold
his left hand alofts, by sceptre, an eagle:
the statue of Zeus at Olympia, who Caligula
wished to carry to Rome. empty, this dawn,
the hands of Zeus, the hands of Caligula.



"when I saw the sacred house of Artemis
that towers to the clouds, the other Wonders
were placed in its shade; the Sun has never
looked upon its equal outside Olympus."

- Antipater de Sidon

St. John Chrysostom tore down
the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
the day still has her robins. Ephesus
too had its robins before & behind
Herostratus. Chrysostom's demise
likewise robbed no nests.



the monument at Halicarnassus was built
for King Mausolus by order of Artemisia,
his queen, who drank his ashes to become
Artemisia A Breathing Mausoleum. funerary
notions are red in the ear as green's in grass.



the Colossus of Rhodes was 56 years whole.
an earthquake left it strewn a millennium, then
900 camels transported this Helios statue to Syria.

incompletion, that faithful zero,
sometimes waits long past your finishing touch.



an earthquake also ruined the Alexandria lighthouse.
until then, it was a gathering-hall for spectres, 45 in
number, who, bold & bright as they were in their
ghostly prime, wouldn't, in the opinion of many,
make a sound if they all flew off at once, which
they did (depart), which they didn't (divulge)

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