FEATURED: again to Byzantium

Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

W.B. Yeats

fifteen when i read
‘fastened to a dying animal’
and cursed a man four times my age
for telling my fortune

an ignorant boy setting out
for his first clay prizes
doesn’t want to hear domestic fate
even if it’s not for half a century

the chore the soul endures
lugging bandy sticks and slack stuffing
in the very years of scorching
with wise excitement knocking fantasy
and memory’s heads together

‘He disappeared in the dead of winter’
wrote Auden and so it was
Yeats slipped his january mooring
in the south of France
milder to an old poet than hard Ireland
and what timing!

a few nervous seasons before a madman
put armies where his loud mouth was
and disemboweled Europe
he put in at Byzantium

presence among presences on starmap
he is the painted bird he dreamt
with voice that has no want for here
and no regard for measures