Apocalypse (II)
by Clayton Eshleman



In the Issenheim Altarpiece, feather-garmented angels play

     beautiful instruments.

The loin-cloth of Christ, whose spiked hands shriek,

     is beautifully painted too.

Bosch's handsome lute-harp, hurdy-gurdy, and

     bombardon, why

                                        are they in Apocalypse?

Apparatuses for torture and piercing?

Gangs of pained singers, mixed in with demons.

Out of the fish mouth of a black-faced white-whiskered

towel-headed ghoul a beaded saliva-line arches toward

     the musically-notated ass of one

     crushed by the lute-harp.



BABOOM of the bombardon, played like a bazooka.

A concert for Saturn Nighthawk, or the goatsucker kid,

in high chair potty, cramming a bird-farting body into his open shredderbeak,

cocked cauldron for a crown,

dead blue body, polioed legs stuffed into potty-attached jugs.

Footless, is he "sacred?"

Translucent blue intestines balloon from the potty hole,

releasing two souls into the cess.


Everywhere, taloned branches prong out from under stuff.


As Saturn Nighthawk loads his throat,

his pinkie fires up between his victim's legs

giving a finger to common sense.

"Oh why am I here!" so many seem to yowl,

a realm Schröder-Sonnenstern might have rhymed

striding through the mayhem banging

garbage-can-lid cymbals over his head.


Is Saturn Nighthawk "eating his children"

the chick from the broken-shelled Inn of the Scarlet Bagpipe?

A parody of The Father in the lunar Genesis vault

and the Creator Son, in pink, cathecting Eve and Adam?


My favorite ghoul is holding high a gaming board,

enormous pot belly filled with pus and fire, almost bursting,

and is he happy! Every gambler shriek makes him come,

a bunch of grapes corks his navel a second before

the hydrant spurt. He's got a disk on his head to mock the Fountains and pools,

why it's his Easter Bonnet! Raise high the roofbeams of wasted soul,

life ruined in gambling's lethal ennui.

I wish I could see his legs, Hieronymus,

but a falling table's in the way-is he wearing

     spats on his scrofulous bird feet?

His chum is in the midst of sticking a knife into

the stomach of some expressionless guy he's also choking.

White mouse head, ermine cloak, squat chubby black legs

wearing clogs. A really fashionable fuck!

To his back is attached a tray-like disk,

with die and lopped off hand pierced by kitchen knife.

Hand is in the identical position of the Creator's in Eden ,

trinity spectre haunting all things, triptych

as triskelion, three-legged revolving bandsaw, diskal whirr.


An armored Fido snacks on master throat, wearing his own doggy steel-spiked disk-hat.

A gryllos has hopped forth. He wants the naked nabob being felt up by a sow

Mother Superior to sign a new deed. More property for the church!

And this gryllos is a real sweetheart: fat shit-stained lizard legs,

a maw of helmetwork from which hangs a chopped-off foot.

From his long lower beak hangs an ink well,

the sow Superior has a quill, but it's all a nightmare, no? so why not sign?


Squire Rabbit has arrived with hunting horn, game bag and

a naked slut whose belly, exploding fire, is hung by

     her heels to his pike-

so, the hunting's been good! So good the poor butchered

creatures have reversed the game.

Apocalypse is what we have done to them.

Think of earth from rabbit hutch concentration viewpoint,

can one imagine the steer report

if slaughterhouse totality could be voiced?

Or the hook-torn trout assembly granted

     a symposium of the creek?







Other excerpts from Improvisations by Clayton Eshleman in ActionYes #1:

A Bosch Apocalypse Update
Apocalypse (I)
Fantasia off the Force of Bosch