David Hickman

7th Collage of The princess

“You George, are rather insolent, you know.”

And insolence like that demands isolation

As it attempts to appear worldly

while the dog star rages

and the dogfaces sigh among uranium casings.

. . . But ruthless masters know only ruthless answers.

As Caligula did, whose horse was a senator

and who finally turned to his sisters for comfort,

as if blood is all that can comfort blood

and death the only end to the fear of death.

(Outside, on the streets, the pilgrims feed on the crumbs of the arrogant.
Opening their mouths and making little “O’s”
they suck in the shiny treats that have miraculously trickled down.

At the edge of the field
the mortuary’s flowers
Are scattered between
the corpses of ten thousand dolls.)


Tiny vacuous imbecilic women

And pufferous onerous imbecilic men.

“Pathet ICH.”

Someone muttered

who had finally caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror

As he held a daguerreotype of stiffs en regalia

in a theater of kunstlers

who issued the dread sigh:

“I have lifted the color off of everything!
Though who but God may lift the color off me?”


White drifts whiten under marzipan clouds.

The snow is bright against the gray of the sky

but does not make a show

of its alabaster combs, or the extravagant impresarios of its vanilla.

There, cubes of winter are glued together again

till there is nothing at all in the refrigerator

of the world

but the corpses, in gold foil, of a million bluebirds.

"Oh dear,” said the princess,

( I remember her enlarged blue eye of despair. . . .)

What is love if we are empty of hope?

What is hope if we appropriate desire?”

She spoke as white runes

fell from the sky onto her lenses.

In slow motion they fluttered and melted there

and she could not read the writing on their

gilded edges.


In a corner where people rarely look

dark figures spill

into a darkened room.

The wind is still.

It is the shadow of noon.

In the palace the children comb out strands of their hair,

to rain on the poor beneath their windows.

In the little blue parlor across the hall,

the emperor

caresses a red piano,

reciting little roundelays of his myopia

at the gallows.