The Ancient Image
What is almost motionless and black?
The specter of an ancient image.
Who is combing the sheep’s hair?
The one with frozen veins.
Who has the secret knowledge of the naval?
What are mystagogic chairs?
All the women who resemble you.
Who is Belshazzar?
He who studies plaster-of-Paris lips.
What are the nerves?
Seven pure words.
What is mandarin?
The poem in your skull.
What is a fishbowl?
Dream eyes under the sea.
What are crystals?
Bells breaking in the wind.
What is the Ache?
A long embrace from the sun’s dark arms.
seed text: The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia
art by bethfromabove