Elizabeth Pelley, Torso Study (digital collage of pencil sketch) 

I keep throwing wrecked pianos

at the moon, fierce dreams,
            gently, of my not dying.

The surface a havoc of split
                      harps and
           black teeth,

lunar dust. And my body there,

or some version of it, alive
                      in all
           that stillness and sun-lit

glare. Perpetual.  A surgery—
           Da Vinci—and resurrection.


But then the Devil and me

go walking and the Devil

                      This World is not
                                 as Music—

heavenly contraption, 

                         beckons,       baffles—

a little noise in the body,
                      some fleeting
           birdsong captured at daybreak

as fractured as Pollock.

As if God had built in the cradle
                      of my hips
           a nest of blackened cells and

left behind a whitening skull,

cracked lens.

Devil says,                             

                          through a Riddle


                                 must go—

           can I

                         guess it
                         gain it

Then she grins. Moon-eyed, wall-
           the devil grins.

She knows  I am nothing more

than a flat head bolt suspended
           two strings

so when I am touched
                      I am percussive.

                      And Crucifixion


though when the time comes

it will be less some Leonardo

gently lofted and more
                      the spidery,
           jointed bones

of the wings. I’ll be the egg

in the nest, chick
                      in the nest.
           The Devil

                      Plucks at a twig

says longing hangs in my heart
           a ragged white dress,


a negative

                                         from the Pulpit—

so put it down, leave it off,
           to river it seeks a marriage

in the blood that is its unwinding.
                      It will be all
           twined strings soon,

stemmed to flatted thunks.

I slip and rally, echo.
                      Think of my body prone
           in the hands

of a seated god. Meanwhile
                      the Devil
           and I go walking, dead


art and dead art, amongst all

this living, its


                      its music, unappeased,
           as the poet says.

Hummingbird, mad mouth,
           the Buddleia davidii sucking

at all the sugars. Butterflies,

like perfect enlightened machines,
                      in the same.
           Then silence, stillness,

rag of the body, roll
                      of the body,
           through tines of spearing daylight...

                                        still the Tooth
                               at the soul—


Dennis Hinrichsen