I am revisiting a poem I have never been satified with this post. You can read the other versions here and here. I have never been happy with the third stanza. The Secret Poets felt I had not got the tone consistent and this led me to put the poem away for five years. It occasionally came to mind and I worried at that stanza. Recently I decided to overhaul the whole poem.
THE UNWRAPPING PARTY
when I lay on my back not one day dead
having my brain extracted through my nose
while my guts were pulled out by the handful
and dumped into the jars at my feet
I did not foresee that my sleep would be disturbed
by anyone less than a God
I could even put up with the French interrupting my twilight
but to be labelled a minor figure
in the political structure of the Lower Kingdom
while accurate could have been phrased with more respect
this social event at which I am the reluctant centre piece
makes no pretence at science that has come to replace religion
for these shallow individuals who do not know their own place in the cosmos
I am simply a sideshow that allows the good matrons of Paris to gasp in awe
as their high priest professor holds aloft each wrapping
as if he was revealing a universal truth
such enlightenment is beyond the banality of his words
which reveal more the short comings of this time than my life
afterwards I will be consigned lie under glass naked
having seen too much and in my second cycle of waiting
be ignored by the passers-by making their way to the gift shop
The first stanza, I felt, was arresting enough but the others I have worked on. I think it could nearly be there. All that remains is to discuss it with the Secrets at our next meeting, having trusted collaborators is a priceless gift.
Natalie Merchant was superb when I saw her last week. It was good to see her after all these years. She was in fine voice and the supporting musicians were excellent. I leave you with a recent live recording.
Until next time.