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Hilltop: A Literary Paper. Volume 1 Number 1

Louis Johnson

page 31

Louis Johnson


All of the time we've lived, it seems
We've been becoming something else
Rather, and other than our dreams,
Than passion's pith, than being's pulse.

Not knowing elseness of ourselves,
Alternatives have never sprung
Clear in the crystalling of waves,
Spring in the sap of verbs unsung.

But all the time, and all the time
We've been becoming other than
Merely our being as we were, climb
Lessingly backward no one can.

And there's another that we'd love
Under the unguent rind of self
Beneath the mind, whose currents move
Deep and mysterious as surf.

Twin Sons Were Born at the Eleventh Hour

We who escaped together from the dark,
Doubling our blood towards the bright egress,
Faced suddenly the panic of the eye
Each turned upon his blood's antagonist.

For, in the nurturing dark, a war began—
Each claiming his leonine share of earth
Prenatally acknowledging the man
Born into slaughter from the breath of birth,

Contesting from that immanent transcription
That wrote their names upon the thriving womb
The right of exodus-their charted lives
Were to burst forth like a spasmodic bomb

Cleaving the air of their inheritance:
Pre-doomed to love the body of one flesh
And to destroy each other in her sight.
Granting her nothing who had nothing wished.

Poem About Who

Who, with his legacy of words and loud
High-sounding histories, shall chart
The passions of a face, the winnowed
Crops and pastures of the heart.

Since, in his cups the will is dredged
Scatheless of purpose, natheless more clear,
Since his cartography has fledged
Songs of no promise and yet sincere.

His heart accepts the yield of vowels since
There are none to take his word,
He hears the heart in silence dense
And sights no other tongue has heard.

Who, is my magic boy and proud,
He stalks a victory, talks his war
With consonants of peace imploughed
Deep in his wounds and aching like a scar.

Chant for Ritual

Uncelibate in secret doorways, shadow-shrouded
like mourners—lovers, reminding of the need
to be afraid. The dragon sows his seeds
blackly amongst their kisses, crowded
from sight for silence, the illegal moon
drowsing their eyes from honesty too soon
to face betrayal in the conjuring lips
moving from napewards sunderwards—the hips
succulent as hibiscus, fly-tormented,
leaving in drenching dark their dream demented.

Sharp as the gunfire of stars, the jazz of lights
overwhelming; in the dance the stance—
promiscuous invitation—shook the flower—once—
twice—now the hour invests more ravenously whites
of the eyes beleaguering expectation; urge
lointender arteries in foetal surge
surrendering, rendering caesarsideways the
black sundering doorstanding allways under
the fallen heaven of arches the Goths
hammer at gates,
hands shapelessness offers a mouthful of moths.