I am happy, I tell her, and I say
what I mean.
In the hours I am alone,
reading Catullus or Blake, or Shelley,
I know what I feel and what I believe
and must not say so.
If John were my name
I’d take Blake’s imprimatur for Milton
to be Floyce Milton’s: The reason Milton
wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels
& God, and at liberty when of Devils
& Hell, is because he was a true Poet
and of the Devil’s party without
knowing it. Hence the need to seek a truth
(1) The priests whose names are Adam
refuse to include humanity among animals,
and we who are blessed to know the difference
follow Hamnet into Hell where Hamlet lives;
or (2) Will and Anne knew their son was cursed
to die with such a name and Hamnet did,
leaving Will to imagine what his name foretold.
Only the shades applaud Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Adam named the animals. He named himself.
Eve danced with the serpent and bore two sons
after whom men are all named Abel and Cain,
and who named Eve and older sister Lilith?
Why does it matter I am happy and say so?
If I were Shelley I would know the poor
are rich but not in God’s way. They inherit
nothing, this world is their kingdom of misery,
though among them are angels with tongues
for weapons and a just God would send them
into battle, but no . . . and that is why
I weep in the dark and strike deep the walls
with words I carve, that read What must I do?
Nothing that I was born to do in daylight . . .
(28 December 2013)
copyright 2013 by Floyce Alexander