Weldon Kees

(1914 - 1955 / Nebraska / United States)

A Pastiche For Eve


Unmanageable as history: these
Followers of Tammuz to the land
That offered no return, where dust
Grew thick on every bolt and door. And so the world
Chilled, and the women wept, tore at their hair.
Yet, in the skies, a goddess governed Sirius, the Dog,
Who shines alike on mothers, lesbians, and whores.

What are we governed by? Dido and Carrie
Chapman Catt arrange themselves as statues near
The playground and the Tivoli. While warming up the beans,
Miss Sanders broods on the Rhamnusian, the whole earth worshipping
Her godhead. Later, vegetables in Athens.
Chaste in the dungeon, swooning with voluptuousness,
The Lady of the Castle weds pure Christ, the feudal groom.

Their bowels almost drove Swift mad. "Sad stem,
Sweet evil, stretching out a lion's jaws," wrote Marbode.
Now we cling together in our caves. That not impossible she
That rots and wrinkles in the sun, the shadow
Of all men, man's counterpart, sweet rois
Of vertew and of gentilness... The brothel and the crib endure.
Past reason hunted. How we die! Their pain, their blood, are ours.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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