Fantasia off the Force of Bosch
by Clayton Eshleman
Inhabited pods and spheres. Lovers inside a mussel excreting pearls.
Like hermit crabs these nudes. Any interior as a home.
The great regression. Back to the primordial athanor,
the mother sea, slurp and bubble of watery dark,
before the Cosmic Dive when otter and leech went down
through the unfathomed,
where dreaming is so intense
it's a whirring honeycomb.
Squadrons of males shoveling coal into a pulsing
white queen who births upon ignition.
A Zoa ball in which fetuses are singing like canaries
in the pelvic cradle of skeletons,
crowns askew, waltzing or discombobulated rug-cutters,
blasting apart as the fetuses turn into Katzenjammer gremlins,
converting the mother skeletons into jungle gyms,
brandishing ribs. The vision whips back into Eden -
out of his vulva side Adam is smoking,
retort of androgynous spleen, Frankenstein frankincense,
the bumblebee kings are crouching and cooing
about the manger barge, just who is
this Holy Ghost who impregnates from afar?
A ball of feathers drops on Coatlicue out sweeping, voilá!
She's with Huitzilopochtli,
the king of war inches out,
innocent enough, a mer-otter
just back from the depths,
a bit of earth-to-be under his claws.
What he senses would explode volumes-
has he discovered in the Cro-Magnon hole its poledom?
Vulva erecting into phallus. Even earlier,
Neanderthal gouged tiny cupules into a limestone slab,
a tombstone "lid"
to create combustion in the "cooking pot" of a burial,
womb bulb of the tabernacle to be,
sending a Jesus beam
figment of resurrection into
the fractal cauliflower of
Bosch's Paradise -
is it that brain unfolded, or refolded, baked, cracked open,
steaming curcurbit issuing
one response to disappearance,
stuff Herr Otter dragged up, mud with which to create
a primal island.
Just what is inside that black testicular pod
from which we've been drinking?
The keelson of creation Whitman called love?
Embolden your Ship of Death, add
sarcophagus to its keel as you wander the fog
tumulus of a thistle-curving future.
Your own impassioned reality-
Do you dare take that on?
The flying fortress of your sub-yonder,
can you tack into the wild spills of infant error
assimilated and stored, for all artists are,
every moment, naked and facing
the ladder up into a Scarlet Bagpipe Inn.
No single imagination can perform apocatastasis.
Wholeness is uterine, all roads are
chained sores over a fathomed diaspora. Hear
yourself squeak as you strain to toss a fruitball to
the blood-red dolphin arching for her supper.
The crowd roars. The fire in the circus will never be put out,
flames will destroy the giant mallards,
the half-submerged earless owl,
but the crowd will continue to stomp and demand more victims
for the solar maw, as if life to continue requires Aztec carnage,
"hearts and minds" converted into a psychotic smear.
The intoxications of immortality
light up the switchboards when
another is killed, for the furnaces of "immortality"
are fed with the bodies of people who look a little different from us.
How does this work, Donald Rumsfeld?
Does your Reaper retreat an inch
for each sixteen-year-old Iraqi boy snipered
while out looking for food?
Men in power are living pyramids of slaughtered others.
Bush is a grinning mountain of carnage.
The discrepancy between literal suit and
psychic veracity is nasty to contemplate.
Imagine a flea with a howitzer shadow
or a worm whose shade is an entire city ablaze.
Other excerpts from Improvisations by Clayton Eshleman in ActionYes #1:
A Bosch Apocalypse Update