by Richard Kuslan (July 2020)
Angelus Novus, Paul Klee, 1920
The effect of gravity upon the teeth
One underestimates for an overbite:
The subtle invisibility of its
Underhanded down-pulling that none can sense
Underwhelms, so we must overcompensate,
Keeping the jaw as wide as leviathan:
Welcoming the circulation of the Qi
Into the ribbed vessel of flesh that captures
For eighty-odd orbits ’round a burning bush
The unsullied, unspoiled ovarian
Soul, buoyed, afloat in riparian bowl:
The gold sphere of our Ptolemaic lattice.
This ought to be our practice, yet we refrain.
Resentful antagony, the gods disdain.
Richard Kuslan is an admirer of Donne, Sheridan, Byron, LeFanu, Trollope, Orwell, Sacheverell Sitwell, Christopher Logue and Jean Sprackland, among (many) others in the English language. He marvels at meaning’s fecundity when language is constrained by form and delights in the melodies that take to the air when the beautiful is read aloud.
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