The Sentence Warrior

November 2, 2010

(Día de los Muertos, 2010)


The warrior died. 7:36 am, dawn.
In the Timpani Tympanum.
While drums and cymbals clashed.
After a brief period.


On the walls of the Timpani Tympanum
are portraits of an ancient goddess, nameless now.
Each night the warrior would
erase her face, would paint each wall blue,
only to see her face bleed through with the sunlight.
He filled the Tympanum with drums
—the true symbol supremo in the halls—
only to have the sun clash quotidian cymbals…
A brief period indeed.
He died while such symbols clashed.


Dying—the halls the warrior had filled full
with drums and cymbals, filled anew with gods
and goddesses, each so all-knowing that,
his screams  of death simply fulfilled his death,
fulfilled by his un-seemingly blue lips.


The warrior was cold and dead,
so cold they feel his kiss as frost, all space
as his embrace, twig thick and vibrating—
enough to shake the walls, as if the hue
of sienna blue could fill the Tympanum
again and again  with the scream of  death—
It’s like the skin on a drum.
It’s like the clothes they wear.


It’s like the part of words we find in piles
in the shades and shadowy hues that clash
anew with each warrior sentence—as left
to wander in the Timpani Tympanum
as a part of the words we can pile up when
we start to think about the great shadows
they have, not the iris, not an old canvas
left in an old sun-drenched bath, a painted bowl, but
the shades thereof. And as another warrior is dead,
each so professional, each so all-knowing,
each twig-thick and wearing the hue of sienna blue
on lips always so cold they could freeze in earth’s kiss—
as painted there, as in the blue earth, yet
as another appears.
—And each face so lurid!


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