Characters

The Captain

The graven wood, swung,
as a whale from a tackle
pulled round by gravity, and wave
to land with the force of
a sun,
into the deck.
Ahab is here.

The King-Servant

This argument, said King
is killing me. Remove it
from being. He looks rather thin
and eyes, that follow you round the room
rest on his cheeks, and the chin
grinds ceaselessly.

So, with a shot, I cut the gordian knot
right between the eyes.
Force is the king of reason, when it needs to be.

The Sign-Maker

After the Soviet Union’s fall
the sign-maker was left with a bag of hammers.
The sickles worked as well as their namesake
but the hammers rusted in a pile.
And so they were left in a corner
hammering softly the dust on their edge

The Princess

Each dress glimmered with candles
and the underwear chafed, coolly, rawing,
the ladies who went to the crystal ball.

One became agitated as the clock struck
midnight and shattered her shoes
(sharing as they did the wavelength of the bell)
She ran –

But all the prince could find
was crystal shards, blood
and the body in the cold – suspended
by the rigid gown in the ice