Saturday, March 09, 2013

At the Icon Exhibit: Strange Platypus(es)

Son of Man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images

-T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Staring out of eyes Phoenician brown, old Phlebas looks
At you,
Speaking of the profit and the loss of
Holy things
Bequeathed and unbequeathed by patriarchs and kings.

"Smell this one.  I will open the case for you.  You see?  The smell of myrrh
and frankincense.  This one here is very special.  They were selling it for five rubles.
I bought it for two-thousand dollars -now, it is priceless."

Priceless pearls that were his eyes
Priceless pearls that were his eyes
These were

"Now this one is of the Theotokos.  -an example of the Moscow school.  See how alive she looks, as if she is staring right into your soul.  Do you have any questions for me?  Ask a hard one."

Boniface is that you?
So soon
So soon
I cannot tell you; his face is too beneficent.
I would not judge.

Thank you for your time.  So generous, so very generous.
"Farewell to you.  Keep your theology straight my friend!"
I will.  Promise!

Tumbling in the surf, tumbling in the surf.  By the pilgrim path to Constantinople,
Lie young Phlebas' bones
churning;

a maze for creatures of the sea.
They know more things than are dreamt of, are only dreamt of,
in your philosophy.

Wei wei la
Wei wei la

I who have known Shepaug, and Pomperaug, Naugatuk,
I catch the good pastor's tears
for his daughter's
Gone
To Kahnawake,
And will not return.

I will go to La Prairie
I will go to La Prairie

And shall not be drunk again

Wei wei la
Wei wei la la

I knew the little mill town when the
robber baron smiled
He tried to sway me
Captain of industry
But I was a good girl
But I was a good girl

Wei la la
Wei la

Oh Hale has gone to Salem
Where they all shall swing
He cannot help you
And the young master now is swinging
Now is swinging
He cannot help you
Cannot help

La la

Shall these bones live?
Shall these bones live?

Oh take us under Thy great shadow
Take us under Thy great shadow
Remember our fathers who confessed,
regicides,
Of Thee, oh murdered King

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them

We have sinned, we have sinned, we have sinned,
But
Speak the Word only and we shall be healed.




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