by Richard Kuslan (December 2019)

Perseus Rescuing Andromeda, Joachim Wtewael, 1611


This was written at one go in a fragmented and wakening dream state in which a winged hyper-masculine demi-god rescues his royal nymph, also a favorite of Zeus, from the four winds.


I found you on the hillside
splayed out and pinned alee.
The anemoi, those puckish rubes
how gustily thee disrobed!
Those rascals, sated, boobs and pubes
now parsed and fingered, mound and lobe,
rumbumbled off tempestuously
to bluster all the worldly wide.

Feathered aerials, I, though soaked
through buckets flinging in-flung gale,
weighted woefully, whistling, blind.
And then the Chief espied thy plight,
Who loves thee, found most incondign,
out-raged, shock-lighted up the night!
No holy nymph of his shall wail!
We’ll sacrifice a bull unyoked.

Flash popped sight upon the hillside!
I angled in like peregrine.
O! the purple robe with lichens mottled
a’drapening opened marble breasts
the crown of gold in algae wattled!
The burbling bile I taste attests:
“Windy rogues, hear me, fear me! When
She awakes: your blaspheming breezes die!


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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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