Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hagia Sophia

For a thousand years her breast was architecture’s flagship,
portal to the other world, holding the sky static
in her giant dome. Goddess of wisdom, we worship
the balanced helmet in her glossy paint, ship
in a bottle in a shop where with a t-shirt you get
a sandwich and a certificate of citizenship
in heaven, and with no commitment to stewardship,
and the shop keepers like angels are giving away
admission to knowledge or heaven or whichever way
you feel most conforms to the ambassadorship
the lord endows his buildings with, with wisdom
or the smug inverted hanging down face of wisdom

bearing hawkers of penance and bouncers pelting wisdom
with denial and velvet, buck toothed, high on internships
the cavernous emptiness of a bronzed-over wisdom
hides under plaster, saint craw, forgiving wisdom
where the priests rub their naked bodies, raising static
columns of fleshy worship, supporting the wise dome
brought from the temple of Artemis, sister of wisdom
who pawned her father’s house for what she could get
some track marks where they dragged her to get
her out of the way, morphine needles of wisdom,
minarets in her arm, blood poison to take her away
forsaking her as a goddess, though not even a saint’s way

is rough enough, like how a woman who fights away
the devil gets a plaque hewn in the scar of wisdom
like the church’s medical records, silver, bronze carried away
by the Moors, or under lathe and plaster sealed away.
Note who gets tickets to heaven can be a matter of ownership.
The rest of you maybe get statues or get to stay
in the wrinkled organs of the world, menageries packed away
like hard lozenges of mud and trees in the attic,
little bodies molded in front of the T.V. static
snowy packaging tied up and sent on rivers away
from comfort and couches, sent on a mission to get
life out of, not reviving juice, but the cracked eggs we get.

When the earth quake opened Sophia’s dome she didn’t get
under her desk in time, she couldn’t move the stars away
and climb in to the painted firmament. And things get
tricky when heaven is an idea on a wall. People get
impatient, they go for microwave dinners not wisdom,
they wonder why they were never let in on the get
or why the red silk ribbons spilled over the wall get
sticky. They wonder at the nibs of scribal penmanship.
It’s not irrelevant that the minarets look like spaceships
how the hell else could we be expected to get
from here to there? She wears a holy gown, mother fanatic,
it shimmers golden at the edges, paramour ecstatic,

Hagia, saint of balloons, rubbing up electrostatic
shock into knowledge, the brain and heart metastatic
growing one into the other until there’s no other way
but god to invert the dome to a dish so that it’s stable
in the middle, fruit on the table, round dogmatic
and delicious And a ripe and ready cure for wisdom
can be injected, spaceship, module mother wisdom,
church, sepulcher, juices injected, serum vatic
whosoever man or god can deny her ladyship,
one garment worn over or torn off, we worship.

Crown of thorns, minarets or horns, holy fellowship
demands drunkenness in air. Recall that by wisdom
we are tied, a boat in passing waters, may easily forget
the powdered dust that covers us, settling away
like the saints faces laid out in silver iconostasis.

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