Verse by Caleb Mannan

If you like Robert Service, Longfellow, Tolkien, Milton, Robinson Jeffers, Whitman, Poe, The Bible, Tennyson, Ray Bradbury, life, death, Untermeyer, Pound, Donne, joy, sorrow, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, children, beauty, Dante, Tom Waits, then set yourself down beside this fire.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LXXVI. Poetic Fathers

When the time had come to
Raise up my poetic fathers in praise,
I, of youth and long mane,
Suffered grievously under the burden of their law.
And taking up the jawbone of a literary ass,
I slew my fathers every one in a bloodlust frenzy.
I clove Poppa Pound in two,
I decimated Whitman’s ranks of many sons,
I tore Blake and Shelley and Wordsworth asunder,
I hacked Auden and dismembered Jeffers,
I annihilated the Beatnik Philistines,
Even laid to rest my beloved Longfellow
In my blood red mist,
The Romantics, The Modernists,
The ways of old and new I slew.
As I surveyed the carnage about me,
Chest heaving and ears ringing,
I knew that which I had done.
I wept amongst the entrails and the blood,
For I was all alone.
I became manic, wild, a madman,
I fell upon the ground and cried out as
I strove so desperately to piece my fathers back together,
Matching bloody bits and pieces.
But alas, it was not to be, the damage was too great.
In despair at seeing the savage work of my hands,
I fell upon my sword.
As I slumped upon the ground,
My blood flowed forth and mingled
With the blood of my fathers,
And this blood cried out,
Electric, rushing, raging, singing:
“Rise up young man rise up!
Do you not know that to praise your fathers is idolatry,
And to slay them is to murder,
Yet to do both is human,
And to know it is divine!
So rise up young man rise up!
For you are no longer a son,
But now a father in this bloodletting!"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

LXXV. Spring Illness

One of these years
I will finally succumb to these illnesses
that ail me, aye, but once a Spring.
In that day I will hear Jeffer’s Demon klaxon call me thrice,
And leave my psoriatic skin filled with strep and sin and vice,
And I will die,
Leaving my body to the earth
And the rest for God knows only
As the angels cry as the sailors:
‘Who shall have this!’
Over my soul and spirit and heart and mind.

LXXIV. May the Law of Moses

May the Law of Moses convict you
In that you may never uphold its weight,
Just as the Gospel of Jesus compels you
With the good news that you are a saint
When your stone tablets break.

LXIII. Technology

hath made apes of us all.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

LXXII. April Morning

My beard bristles as the back of a boar,
As the boar, I come back for more
Standing on the back porch in the spring sun,
My heart full of love and my head full of lead.