David Herbert Lawrence was born a perfect little Oedipus
Hating his father, bread-winner, who worked the pits,
Loving his mother, school-marmish, so superior.
Mother and son walked together in the honeyed sunlight
Over the pitch-black mine, and watched the Red Admiral
Flatter bright-mauve rocks with its flattened-out wings,
Vibrant scarlet-black-white. He gathered
Anemones for her, tore a rhyme from each petal,
Saying “You are my Eurydice, I am your Orpheus.”
On her death-bed, he travelled down long corridors
Of her agony that found a darkness in his lungs,
Illumined by fire-blue gentians of pale Dis,
Drew her up again to daylight, then reading his own death
Written in her love, sent her packing back to Hades.
Next morning, noticing a Bacchante
Lingering at the tomb-mouth, with her soul-lusting gaze,
He spat out a four letter word, transformed himself to Siegfried,
Stole Brünnhilde from her husband-father, fled together from England,
To the Hochgebirge. Despite his pagan marriage,
He kept locked in a cupboard the Holy Grail
Of the Old and New Testament, was always Jacob
Wrestling with the angel, and after death
Resurrected himself—Jesus come back as a gamekeeper—
The serpent descended to fuck Mary Magdalene.

This Issue

January 26, 1978