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I have seen a divine being face to face
yet my life has been preserved.   Genesis 32:31

 A force leaves the body

  one kiss of the hag
              like sucking on leather

                       but she rides your chest
        and bestows her private knowledge

                   And the weather becomes
   a tender vein
                          run through a face
                        the wet air forms

            Isaac Luria said
           creation is a wound
               in the perfect flesh of Yahweh

             tzim tzum
           the void said, and
               named the blood Golgotha drank
              & that stinking body rose
          and ripped the sky apart
                  and lucifer the wolf
               licked the wound clean
           scavenged the feast tables
                 set Antares in Scorpio for a ruse
              married his spinster sister
               and settled in Neter
              where he chronicled the Passion
                  in relics he later sold by the pound

                   creation is a wound Luria said
                       and the void cried  tzim tzum
                    and everything follows from that

 only vaguely now
    remembers sleeping
         among the sirens

                 their clever hands at work in his chest
                   and all those martyrs groveling for shelter

    the fishing boats
         robbed by Set
                  crocodile-hound of Axum
                        9 waves of spleen
                   hot as ghetto pneumonia
                          YHVH correct me
                    as the Picts
                            orgied Hadrian’s retreat

     summoned the cheval
     throat taster
          hung in the willows smoldering

they called her strega
     and winced when they said it
 and scraped their boils with glass
   to release the sting of her voices
  and met her entourage at the harbor with dancing,
   and pigs slaughtered and charred in cypress
 the dyads mourning at her feet

    I run my fingers through her hair
     and mumble cantos of
  the dead awake in her features

              manchild and nails
            bent to the helix
              wrapt in satellite
            casting the names

   out of seasons drunk
                             with her scarlet weeping

sister Io in flames
       forced through
            rib & wire & blind pain

        and white heat in the grain
 of Adonai
                driven to suicide
           Fata Hologram conjures the corpse
                    leaps from her mount
              and swallows the hounfour whole

            “The dawn saturated, splintered,
                  whose breast will you
         scar with refineries?”
    hold Venus
                from her mannered rage
                                                 in black heaven

                             even sulphur
                           is borrowed music
   tamed by the heat,

  eucharist driver

 met on a bridge
                     with a box of hens and a banty rooster
                 and a brand new pocket knife
                        to settle the score

   Is it Vega
       that owns the west
            in the 2nd hour?

                           San Jan Baptis
            on a white goat
                    whose heart
                          thrusts its quaking core
                      through blue smoke
                              and solvent hair

                            from larvae ensconced
     in the ironies

                ceaseless heat
                     bangles and lace
                  through a mirror of wind
                folded it’s sudden grace a flawless skin
                       simpler than bone
          (and wailing out

                   beyond condition
                           whole cloth and intangible

the market’s stock of heads,

             those elliptic
                         & vacant

       the ground for an herb
           by roots a chanteuse
                             or delicate garland

       lost in a seamless
                           an abused house
                        uncharted by the degrees & seconds
                      of aspect’s exquisite fiction,
     furniture of miraculous
                         meat arabesque
    & familiars
      (crowded in backroom
  melting into their purposes

                    the skirts
                 of goldflower
                    nitrous alive,
               a harvest sorrow

                     licked the ear of
             crucifixed inclinations’ shapes
                   never found their second brain
              and hung there

           copulating and dying

         a mount,


  holds the falling man still
    in failing to fall
          to un-   wound
            a bright scar in his scalp or horizon
      so marked & Passioned

  dry heaving
               from the conjunction:
                    deep Neptune & Hermes
                        crucible electron furnace
               (and these transitives weighted
          with the obligations of each hour’s ruler,
              call him Anubis, in darkness & friendly
   Raphael or
   Danu or

                    seduction is preface
                      and oracular

 and a cockroach rushing across a steel gray cloud
                  turned amber and full of cherubim
            in Yahweh’s light
                    a stroke of the spirit in the depths of his chest
                   in the middle of the swollen night
               a finger to your brow
            draughts of forgetting
                   and in that eclipse
                          a manna machine chanting,
           (they are) dancing in circles

A force leaves the body
                       but keeps its tether,
          rhymes the Orphic when when he
           untied the scarf from her wrists
                  and tossed it into the flames
                     and kept residence there
        near the gate

         among the houses of the trashers and artisans
    “draw Jerusalem on a brick
                    and siege her”
                summon the doppleganger Cain,
                    the yellow moth whose light is a filigree
                  around the lamps of Aerodia
               brought from a bloody waning crescent
     (the sky full of Mexican ash)
             just as Lucifer abandoned the nest for parts unknown
         till the urbanites found him
     gone cloak and dagger on Tin Pan Alley
    betraying the gnomon at its source
      the green parallax
         drinking her breast
     and salvific horn
                          a crushing rain
                 beating the atmosphere’s  subtle eddys
         with barbed wings till the veins expire
         and leave their skins
                            in folded letters,
       (the back of the skull
          has twin bodies
      spines like serpents on fire
   ribcages full of throbbing eyes
  that are seed
    white as pearl
            a mystery to the witches
         who make a ceremony of their juice
           till the masque of Christ is drained of its vagabond lies

 vanished in its cycle
        vanished beneath the crushing wheels
               a ripening face
             buried in the leaves

   radiance dissolved
              where she danced
    & the earth wept black sheets
                  shrouds for the vacuum gold figures leave
        in radio silence,
               flooded the hollow impression the
            severed heads made in bleak voice
             moaning out of Otherworld, pursued
  a charmed irreducible adrift
         smoke in the roots
                     or horn of Satyr
          bound in the wells of Piniel
   to sweeten the water
      appease the machinery at God Sea
   driven to storm by singing numbers
           of sinew of oak
         & a man twice dead and singing still —
  no cage in paradise can hold
     the cherubim of these inertial waves
              swallowing the poison in Mississippi
      and following the river down to
  her sex at Natchez, head on a post
     drenched with the tincture, sulphur and lust



jake berry

A Letter From The Late William Burroughs To The Living Jake Berry