for Emmy Hennings on the founding of the Cabaret Voltaire
Let scholars and skeletons wail,
she found it asleep in cold Denmark
hay, disguised as Boehme’s blasphemy,
as quest for a child’s carriage
who she needed to emerge omnipotent,
but didn’t, as a two syllable cry
that won’t touch God,
until it kisses devil first.
She, mystic mother chanteuse
whore, showed mind fall gratitude
to social disease. Sacrificed
sleep and stomach on strange
lover’s wrist, to wrap death closer.
The wrapping he named D.A.D.A.,
Dionysius the Areopagite, child’s
play thing, shampoo, mystic chaos.
She, guttural shriek, action propped
against alchemist code, binary
crack revolution, language bomb,
literature with gun in hand. Black
sun, white earth, and softest song
war disfigured waiting for its
eyes to grow back again.
He was gasoline.
Drove each battle nightly center
stage, down her throat,
spat up barbed hell to wake
sleeping saints stuck between ribs,
tore her tongue out to wash them,
steeped in words of fish,
the only creatures she touched
to be clean.
In her silence, he sees she is the skull
of the three hundred year old woman
he fell in love with, painted flowers
on its cheeks, and set on top of her altar.
The night he led cabaret mass
as Cubist priest, skull spoke
with grandmother tongue,
Big Drum banged on its own,
Masks spun off walls,
Only she knew these things
That they stirred herds
of dumb demi-urge.
That the two of them were eaten,
spewed back out: He a martyr to
die with a hole in his stomach.
She a fairy tale crone charged
with writing out of existence
every moment they touched face
of it: the God who carves words
on flesh stages.