Opéra Bouffe Neil de la Flor, Maureen Seaton & Kristine Snodgrass
my oriflamme! My sweet
shield, such is a cannon. Place a mirror to it and we will all remain
constant in the depth of the light, the tunnel. Pull something from me.
Pull me a tin or an overturned bowl. We had water, you see?
It is gone. It walked down to the shore to be with sister blood.
We swish and swish. We sway to the light.
a billowy stream—arms and legs of cannon fodder floating and the way
armor peels away like a hospital gown—in the name of spears and lately
hazmats we love yummy war. We do! We lick it!
we all know you were the mother of the bastard child we love to call
son. And we know your flesh is not real but we want to touch. And we
know that you were abloom in something scandalous and anti-something.
And we all want to be you because you are about-faced. And we abolished
the need for gravity.
I know your sons. Such elegy and dereliction. Take me to the charnel
house and I will refute your bound love. Let me tie your boots and I
will twist my torso for you. See
how the light is still on me? See how we admire you? We are intoxicated
and intolerant in your dirty gaze.
when the volcanoes threw ash too far and the people had carved the cold,
it was like war had happened backwards. Petroglyphs and sex. You
petrified me with your funny hat and your little skirt.
was always Saturday then. It was. And the man with color under his
command, the one with the feather possibly in his hat, chose to paint a
rendition of you and me in awhirl. It was Saturday and the idea of Lord
or Master was ancillary as Andromeda without Perseus. I admired the
swish in your eyes.
and men, can we not sing together? Sit, sit with the ashes of this one
or that one and dance into the stone ruins. Play a range of notes into
the depth and see what comes of it. Languid Perseus, remain staged and
aloof. We will get along fine without you.
after “The Return from War: Mars
Disarmed by Venus,”
a collaboration by Brueghel & Rubens, 1610-1612