Antiphony of Sighs

by Samuel Derrick Rosen


Glasgow, its swollen bleeding face, its unrepentant eyes
Proud inside its operas, vain within its shames.
Watch these sanctities unsound shrink into their oneness.
Set these centuries alight, peer into the flames.

Into their time descending the pedestrians now cease,
all is bright, all is beautiful, terribly polite.
From a bleeding-heart moon painlessly approaches
a cycle of crescendos, illustrious cones of light

that are hour-less as the sun is speechless,
warring for equality, beyond sense of depth or height,
inverse fractals, Orphic hierarchies,
endless aberrations, passions Darwinite.

Musicians in their deliriums play sequences of notes,
until now unheard, they immediately disperse
through puny hands, through minds of architects,
symmetries not meant to last.  Minus chapter, minus verse,

in countless sparkling pleasantries the natives start to drown,
we who cultivate the storms have nothing left to do
but in our stupor be misled, with our oblivions we waltz,
more than mere observers, we are comedies for the dead.


Some vagabond flees through the city of the merchants,
pursued by Robert Burns' irradiated ghost.
Children in a world of wire-mothers play a game of patience.
Lovers clasp their hands; they have nothing more to boast.

A Chinese girl hawks plastic roses to an old tramp in a suit.
Daughters seek despairs, sons scramble for their words
Some profess to know the place true beauty can be found.
Clouds provide forgetfulness, birds feed on other birds.

There is plenty to stun the gods into total meekness.
Such overwhelming excellence, such mighty simulation.
Shoppers in their ecstasies shine like precious stones,
such as those later found to be flawless imitation.

Sirius in our eyes, mistletoe in our brains.
Distant doors and windows slant, dollhouses secrete light.
To the hum of Buddhas, to the thrum of engines,
an immense voice sighs “there is no day or night”.

Where do I go now?  Left is always sinister, right is always right.
Forever depletes, a heavenly abstraction, a captivating haze.
Through the cables of the needless, down Glassford Street I go,
shattering as one, iridescent spheres of praise.

We are not the animals, we record our every pulse.
All is oxygen; all is air, an opulence of eyes.
The unknowing less aroused when recoiled into being.
But how brilliant are these loves!  So tuneful are these sighs!