Paul Rogov’s literary work has appeared in Jumping Blue Gods, Danse Macabre, Exterminating Angel Press, Yareah Magazine, Solstice Initiative, Cultural Weekly, Femicatio Magazine and Social Justice Solutions.The Fallen Years, his debut novella, about a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, was released in October 2011.
ISIS SYZYGY: Reunion in Père-Lachaise
For Andreea Mocanu
I rage towards you, on moonlit field—subsumed by downy flake;
In blizzard of sinless mastery, whose flecks from you I take.
Peppered, lean and swift—O, Syzygy with gleamed-neck of dying swan!
I shred papyrus for our rebirth, before the coming Dawn.
For I have seen your porticos, your Moldovian physique,
Listened to how you tricked gods, with treading Muse’s feet.
Tuat’s champagne flows through veins; diamonds burnished; daggers’re forged.
I drowned in The River one thousand times, tho’ came through Heaven’s gorge.
See, I came to you, to learn to listen; for in my life, I boasted much:
About how brave and merciless I was, from which sacred book I sprang and such.
Yet with velvet-clad disposition, I ran away from crowds of them.
I was wan, lonely; a creature, sickly—abhorring Time, amen.
Tell me who would speak so plainly, in the First Hour of Descent.
It was Night for me, in that mossy cavern, where passion’s never spent.
The stewards of the Sunrise, these I knew—the gears, gyres, crickets, birds;
‘Twas not by morning, nor light, that I was found— to bring you holy words.
I wobbled wolfish, ‘neath a hazy moon, ‘neath shivering leaves, so free.
The moonlight was fading—it was debating, the Fate of you and me.
And this is when it began to snow—on this terrible oath, that is the Earth,
Between the gods and angels I have known, and the sanctity of birth.
Your ruby lips were luscious, your medallion round you choked.
Plumes were plucked from Thoth, for heka, beside lamp aglow.
You wrote odes with my dusty bones, like you did dynasties ago.
For that necropolis was fed with graves; faces shone; priests fled, dazed.
I leapt from tomb to tomb—then vanished through a shadow-maze. . .
And so, aeons passed; die were cast. Akkenaton never found my body.
I perished far below the sun’s neat rays, the Aten-idea, rotting.
See, I swore to my whole destiny—the myriad-armed kaleidoscope—
That if Winter should come again, it’s through its cold, I’ll mope.
And so, I became the Western Wind itself—its thrashing, gnashing breeze,
Which pecks your flesh with Braille kisses, on magic nights a-seized.
And then, I sprung from mass graves in the East—to your kith’s insignia I come.
For I have seen your precious studies, the ouroborous of your charm.
You have not forgotten me so well—you are more regal than I remember.
You know the lust of Isis, Osiris’ limbs, the resurrecting member.
For you did not live for séance “spirits”; you suckled wisdom from the True Vine.
You wished to arrange letters with my bones, even my broken spine.
So now we meet in a cobbled street—not far from Père-Lachaise,
In new flesh, prior to Spring and Sunrise, as Fate thusly says:
“See, I am caffeinated—aglow, in Winter, I’m in the form of a modern man!
And you’re a goddess, gifted—translating anatomy, the Plan.”
And I breath in the Western Wind, to recall all the pieces of who I was,
Whilst you untie a scarf from your throat, and with slung bag, you pause:
“Indeed, I valued le joie de vivre,” you say, “as a pension-child, a mademoiselle—
I’ve written tomes on pharaohs, summoned specters thrashed through Hell.
And I envisioned starker realms, a stronger bond than sight, aloft.
So I give you pages of who I once was—richly curled, yet never lost.”
And you offer your poems to me—white on white—on Devil’s snow:
And I could not sense my own changed Self, from varied lives I’ve sown.
With songs, spells, hymning thefts, you destroyed pyramids of woe:
Re-shelved as stones of leathered cruelty, like promises I know.
For the poet I was, at Alexandria, burned, my Seraph!—mourned many reigns ago.
And I came back, minted, a risen god—in a Cycle upon which now we flow.
For the pyropolis was fed with slaves; faces afire; priests crisp, ablaze.
Ashen, I came here to return your ring—sift again through your heart’s maze.
So, I lean towards you, on a moonlit street—subsumed by downy flake;
In a blizzard of sinless mastery, whose flecks from you I rake.
Peppered, lean, and swift—O, Woman with gleamed-neck of dying swan!
I shred papyrus for one kiss before the coming Dawn.
We are proud to premiere this poem in Cultural Weekly.