November 2004, #11                                        
Poetry__________________________________________                                                                                                                                                      Allison Deputy                                                   



   Writing poetry was the furthest thing from my mind when I first stumbled upon it nearly 20 years ago. I was an art and film student, and was dabbling with screenplays at the time. My first poetry class opened a floodgate of emotion and expression I had never dared before. The craft of poetry has become a very personal and alchemical process for me. Poetry is my attempt to get at the glimmering truth after all the smoke and ashes have cleared.
    When out of the bards cloak, I teach Tai Chi, Meditation, and facilitate workshops on personal development in the Chicago area.
     A.Deputy have managed to appear in literary journals here and there over the years, and published a chapbook, The Song of Enchantment, in 1999. Two more chapbooks are planned for the near future.



The Song of Enchantment

A cord of particled light lances
The dying room. I am saturated
With hymns of you -

Bloated, overdosed
From this steady diet of barnacled
Memories and copper dreams oxidized
In streams of ceaseless thoughts -

You are long gone, but I have absorbed
Your autonomous glow, and now I lay
Sick, wrangling in the throes of demon
Fevers, while the shamans sing
their healing song -

They have come to suck you out.
You are a pestilence, they say -
I have torn holes in my spirit cloth,
Let your Sun god burn
Me at the roots to reach you -

And now, boundless
I fly like shrapnel in your songs, ecstatically
Scorched, craving your white hot center,
Losing altitude -

And to the deadweight of you still
I clutch, fool-driven, terrified of being
Masterless -

The heavens heave, yank my limbs
Taut, the drums swell with reckoning -
I am pulled and thundered to the tearing point -
Choose, choose!

And so I shriek with the sound of you
Peeling from my heart - there can be nothing
Of me, so little of me, only a shred of me left now,
Waste of a woman, paper thin,

A butterflys wing.

It is done. I rest in a shamans hand. Not a kiss
Of you left. Whispers fall upon me like
Snow. I am sown into the
Blood-heavy earth, wrapped
In a dense, cool womb -

I grow roots - thin, green, persistent.

What they cannot move through, they
Coil around. And spreading like the
Filaments of new lungs, they find my
Song. Borne of a compost of your
Yellowing scores, my disembodied
Wounds, my fermenting
Possibilities - I breathe it in, and
Sing me out.


Here I am, on my
ass again - dust
from the thud.
Im up to my knuckles
in dung
as you buck-trot the arena, tail-
lifted to the adoring,
crapulous crowd.

Youre not going to make it easy.

It was obvious when I
mounted you
and you flung you head to and fro
that I could not break you.

So let the crowd call me a dupe, truly
I dont give a damn -
I dont give a damn if they flout and
fling their judgements like road
apples -
And, for gods sake, dont let them
pity me.

I walked in here with both
eyes open
and my heart hauled out on a
and Im not going back.

Love has never made me so bold.

And here again comes your thundering
rearing, wild-white eyes so
terrified at such audacity to stand
immovable under the fall of your hoof.

But I see the bottomless ache, and know it well.

The bull head is on too tight.
You are not yet you, and all I
can do is watch with my heart
in a fist as you run head
first into your own wall and
yourself into Being.

And so shall I play the horse
Take the final turn, desist
clawing and agitating the air
as it only keeps you running the
circle -

Yes, turn
my back and walk, walk
to the furthest ends of who I Am
without even the slightest look
back -
And listen. And wait.
For the faint crescendo of your heartbeat.



Doorway, II

You appear
a silhouette in the dim
entryway of the bar.
The shadow delineates
your vigor as you stand
stag proud, distressingly
well-made. In your silent,
animal alertness you search
the dark through beaded
partitions and blowfish

I watch from a cramped
round table, hands
wrapped round a weeping
virgin cocktail. I already know
too much of you - your ship-
wrecked heart, your vision
of that perfect first mate, the end-
less seeking with a compass
that keeps pointing back
at you.

You dont yet realize she
sits here, with a wedding
band and a new child swim-
ming in her womb.

You wont know for some time.

Your head turns,
and I know youre honing
in. Let your eyes adjust,
beautiful man. Your heart
make repair. I have
work, too.

The Shipwreck

Slow it comes, the rubble,
scraps of memory washing up
with nauseating cadence, tugging back
pieces of the shore like small hands
clawing for life. The tides are deep
and heavy, and yank the long-
buried wreck with vicious regularity,
taunting it, exposing it more to the eyes
that searched but had not expected

thisThe sea floor shifts, the wreck
lurches, the old boards give and regurgitate
the bodies. So many of them - pale,
bloated, still holding the shock of
unwanted death - rising to the call,
to the impatient prayer that exorcised
them. They are a history book of sorts,
each with a story to tell, carrying all
the fury and the terror that belonged
to the seeker all along. And the wreck

singsA low, moaning hymn sluicing
through the heart chambers of the mute,
forgotten secretary that chronicles this
rage, sweating over her stiff collar, typing,
typing for the Grace of God & Country,
for the Merciless Fathers, Sons, Holy
Ghosts that took and plundered and never

gave backPain is ageless, always renewing
itself - a mad harlequin dancing the jig
of Shiva, trodding all misshapen ones
back to the primordial pulp - old egos
tossed into the forging fires, extruded into
new hulls. It is the fortune of the corpse
to forget, the burden of the soul
to carry the shocks.


Only on humid nights
do the fireflies come
blinking constellations
over cornfields, arousing
the souls of the dead

My head
swims in all these selves,
all this mess of me, this night
so dark and close like his
phantom mark, and

the heart's
homunculus pricks, pricks
till the poor tired muscle
heaves and bats like
a shutter in a gust

open the road to Hell,
to the well of dead blue angels
that rise just when the purge
felt complete

And now the thinnest wisp
of him closes in for the kill,
glows on silent wings, draws
against the body,
sex web, close ghost.


But you see
there is this
this panting,
thing here
that will

The bars are
the latch
and all the
zoo keepers
mad.                                                                                                A.Deputy