THE MUNICH MANNEQUINS
Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.
Cold as snow breath, it tamps the womb
Where the yew trees blow like hydras,
The tree of life and the tree of life
Unloosing their moons, month after month, to no purpose.
The blood flood is the flood of love,
The absolute sacrifice.
It means no more idols but me,
Me and you.
So, in their sulphur loveliness, in their smiles
These mannequins lean tonight
In Munich, morgue between Paris and Rome,
Naked and bald in their turs,
Orange lollies on silver sacks.
Intolerable, without mind.
The snow drops its pieces of darkness,
Nobody’s about. In the hotels
Hands will be opening doors and setting
Down shoes for a polish of carbon
Into which broad toes will go tomorrow.
O the domesticity of these windows,
The baby lace, the green leaved confectionary,
The thick Germans slumbering in their bottomless Stoiz.
And the black phones on hooks
Glittering and digesting
Voicelessness. The snow has no voice.
The engine is killing the track the track is silver,
It stretches into the distance It will be eaten nevertheless.
Its running is useless.
At nightfall there is the beauty of drowned fields,
Dawn gilds the farmers like pigs,
Swaying slightly in their thick suits,
White towers of Smithfield ahead,
Fat haunches and blood on their minds.
There is no mercy in the glitter of cleavers,
The butcher’s guillotine that whispers: “How’s this, how’s this?”
In the bowl the hare is aborted,
Its baby head out of the way, embalmed in spice,
Flayed of fur and humanity.
Let us eat it like Plato’s afterbirth,
Let us eat it like Christ.
These are the people that were important—
Their round eyes, their teeth, their grimaces
On a stick that rattles and clicks, a counterfeit snake.
Shall the hood of the cobra appal me—
The loneliness in its eye, the eye of the mountains
Through which the sky eternally threads itself?
The world is blood-hot and personal
Dawn says, with its blood-flush.
There is no terminus, only suitcases
Out of which the same self unfolds like a suit
Bald and shiny, with pockets of wishes,
Notions and tickets, short circuits and folding mirrors.
I am mad, calls the spider, waving its many arms.
And in truth it is terrible,
Multipued in the eyes of the flies.
They buzz like blue children
In nets of the infinite,
Roped in at the end by the one
Death with its many sticks.
February 20, 1964