Defeating Gilgamesh - Poem by Daniel Brick
It wasn't difficultdefeating
Gilgamesh. He is Lord of Uruk
no longer, his kingship in ruins,
no champion has arisen, not in the city
nor in the vast rugged plains circling it.
Once he fought his own battles, wrestling,
crushing, stabbing. Now he slinks down
with a weary sigh. Of his gory what remains?
Words... Words carved in stone, words
pressed into clay tables, words recorded
by historians, and, rarely, words spoken
passionately, spontaneously, preserved
in a chamber of your heart...
It wasn't difficult. Everywhere you turn
there are people selling services and things.
No one notices an old warrior or two, dragging
his clanking armor behind him. I saw a man alone,
in a pale blue jumpsuit, hunched for hours
his wheel chair, that blob was once occupied
by the spirit of Gilgamesh. The spirit left
its imprint on this man, you know he was once
a king, but now he is a man of memories,
they are immortal and weightless...
It wasn't difficult: a deep breath exhaled
and he totters; strike him with a furry reed
and he cowers. Defeat no longer troubles him,
victory will not elate him. Pieces of his greatness
clutter the room, they are scattered on the floor.
People passing by might examine a piece or two,
then disgard them. But my soul knows better.
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