The Yeatsian

Poetry & Lyricism "A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, Our stitching and unstitching has been naught." WB Yeats "Adam's Curse"

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Location: at the Singer's Microphone, United States

I'm in my second marriage to a wonderful woman, my beautiful wife! I thank God everyday He brought her to me! "Restore us, O God of hosts: Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!" PSALM 80

Monday, February 07, 2005

Hostage

for Salman Rushdie
" . . . A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real . . . " Wallace Stevens

Brian Keenan's breaking voice
rings out the strains
of heroic long-suffering.
His sense of "hostage"
cuts deep, cuts through to the nerve,
to the site of blinding pain
where body-dust writhes in flames,
where a mind or a shade at noon
knows only the bitter sun,
where breath or force is crushed
by brotherly brutality,
like a single ember
buried under heaps of human snow.

For nearly five years
did Brian Keenan know the hag, Despair,
beaten into his flesh,
until at midnight
it seemed to fly within his very blood;
chained to his skin,
until at infernal night
it seemed to breathe through his own voice;
cursed in his ear,
until time stopped on the cusp of his pain
and his Irish eye and smile
seemed cauterized to his burning bowels.

Brian Keenan's is a voice from beyond,
because his hand has stroked broken glass,
and bled and throbbed,
because his eye has watched and witnessed
the rape of the void within,
because his ear has listened
to the pulse of his blood
beating to the rhythms
of cries in the dark.

August 30-31, 1990

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