Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Monday, January 10, 2011

I stand to cry, if I cry; to cry I stand, and sitting I will not cry.
(Upon reading Ulysses)

by Jordan Sjol

In stockyards I need to drink the leathery
compote of structured death from a crumbling
chalice of mud. I melt into putrid alabaster
mousse and extrude through pastry-bags fashioned

from the unwashed panties of
unkempt witches, as a spell to bring their
warlocks safe return through the eighteen
interminable trials. Destruction is

contained in silvered vessels of
unimaginable technical brilliance and
indeterminate purport. Jews horde it into
temples, bury it under mounds of

gold and arks of forgotten covenant. Near it
the density of dreams approaches infinity
and firmaments delimiting consciousness erode to
silt. The spasm of my sleep is etched

onto pottery which is to be studied
in thousands of years, allegory presumed.
Semiotics faces its utmost nadir since
Moses came down from the mountain, and

went down on the golden calf, smashed
his tablets and wept and wept. The parallax
through which the most circumspect cartographer
was sucked appears as a sinkhole on the

bank of the Liffey. There time becomes
manifold and grows teeth and recites
soliloquies in what man in panic
has provisionally named “tongues.” The switching

of horses' tails brushes against the
stratosphere and scatters constellations like
freckles of salt skittering across a quartz countertop.
Heaps and piles and mountains of skulls could

be constructed in fractal extrapolations from
here to the moon with the matter produced and
wasted by the malevolently laughing Nobodaddy.
Ladders to rapture could be made and forgotten in the time

it takes me to cross the room. I might go
gray about the temples and conjure
rabbits from my spittle and pass
through the eye of a needle astride a camel before

I lift my pen. I might sleep again, now
and forever, very much.


  1. Isn't "unimaginable technical brilliance and indeterminate purport" a Beckett quote? I googled it but could not find...

  2. Poetry Review sez "In Samuel Beckett's Watt, the narrator describes how one afternoon the comfortable tedium of his existence is troubled by the arrival of two men who say they have come 'to choon the piano', an event which Watt describes as 'of great formal brilliance but indeterminate purport'"