Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mr Jarrell's Fairy Tale

Mr Jarrell's fairy tale will begin

With German, where he found Gemütlichkeit
And Heimat, but which makes you think of Stürm
And Kindertotenlieder, not the Nacht
Where wolves leave calling cards, like furry salesmen.

And then come maidens--no, not little girls,
But maidens, singing Schubert, braids and busts:
Like bodyguards, they ripple, and their eyes
Are blue as glass. Their fingers smell of milk.

And next march files of small misshapen men,
Named many things; they all are phallus-shaped
With hoes and picks and axes. They are chanting
Bass songs of conquest over Mutter Earth.
They clear the ground and build transparent coffins.

And here at last comes Goethe. Rise for this
Interminable harbinger of Höch--
High everything, immer and eloquent,
So sound and sane our longhorn cattle flee
Their frontier spreads, the coyotes disavow
All knowledge of their German kin, whilst he--
Randall, not Johann--broiders in the dusk
A tale so full of Old World charm, you think
You'd die, just die, to have the chance to bleed
In märchen woods, watched over by black trees,
A coverlet of ash, made from good Völk
And rosy children, still before their time,
To warm you as you snuggle down to bones.

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