Five Poems From “Helen: A Revision”
Nothing is known about Helen but her voice
Strange glittering sparks
Lighting no fires but what is reechoed
Rechorded, set on the icy sea.
All history is one, as all the North Pole is one
Magnetic, music to play with, ice
That has had to do with vision
And each one of us, naked.
* * *
Helen: A Revision
ZEUS: It is to be assumed that I do not exist while most people in the vision assume that I do exist. This is to be one of the extents of meaning between the players and the audience. I have to talk like this because I am the lord of both kinds of sky—and I don't mean your sky and their sky because they are signs, I mean the bright sky and the burning sky. I have no intention of showing you my limits. The players in this poem are players. They have taken their parts not to deceive you [or me for that matter] but because they have been paid in love or coin to be players. I have known for a long time that there is not a fourth wall in a play. I am called Zeus and I know this.
THERSITES: [Running out on the construction of the stage.] The fourth wall is not as important as you think it is.
ZEUS: [Disturbed but carrying it off like a good Master of Ceremonial.] Thersites is involuntary. [He puts his arm around him.] I could not play a part if I were not a player.
THERSITES: Reveal yourself to me and don't pretend that there are people watching you. I am alone on the stage with you. Tell me the plot of the play.
ZEUS: [Standing away.] Don't try to talk if you don't have to. You must admit there is no audience. Everything is done for you.
THERSITES: Stop repeating yourself. You old motherfucker. Your skies are bad enough. [He looks to the ground.] A parody is better than a pun.
ZEUS: I do not understand your language.
[They are silent together for a moment and then the curtain drops.]
* * *
And if he dies on this road throw wild blackberries at his ghost
And if he doesn't, and he won't, hope the cost
Hope the cost.
And the tenor of the what meets the why at the edge
Like a backwards image of each terror's lodge
Each terror's lodge.
And if he cries put his heart out with a lantern's goat
Where they say all passages to pay the debt
The lighted yet.
* * *
The focus sing
Is not their business. Their backs lay
By not altogether being there.
Here and there in swamps and villages.
How doth the silly crocodile
Amuse the Muse
* * *
And in the skyey march of flesh
That boundary line where no body is
Preserve us, lord, from aches and harms
And bring my death.
Both air and water rattle there
And mud and fire
Preserve us, lord, from what would share a shroud
and bring my death.
A vagrant bird flies to the glossy limbs
The battlefield has harms. The trees have half
Their branches shot away. Preserve us, lord
From hair and mud and flesh.
Jack Spicer's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Five Poems From “Helen: A Revision” by Jack Spicer )
- Enough is Enough!, Shaila Touchton
- For Boy George (The First Time I Saw You), Dave Alan Walker
- Acceptance, Barbara Dixion
- The Pendulum of Life, bryan wallace
- Sentiments Of Love, Louis Borgo
- Forever Free, courtney metcalf
- Rage Against the Machine, Amber Hardisty
- Out, Barbara Dixion
- Raindrop Ambitions, Ailill Ailill
- Child the Blossoming Bud, Kumarmani Mahakul
Poem of the Day
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(1644 - 1694)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns
(1 February 1927)