Curvatus in Se
Coiling down history on his belly,
the wicked foe of mankind,
condemned to feed on dirt,
has no authority
save for that he usurps
by fork-tongued deception.
Like a caldera of magma
overdue for eruption,
the pressure of pride
is vented unto vice,
the calamity of cacophony
shattering the silence of peace.
It was there before the Moderns,
before the Nominalists,
before the Arians and Gnostics,
before Protagoras was enamoring
Athenian youth, teaching, “Man is
the measure of all things.”
Hubris is not only for Narcissus,
lost in his reflection,
his reflection become more real
than his desperate lust.
Vein-glory! Man must look good to eat,
woman must look good to eat. Oh, fault!
Remember, Adam, you are dirt!
Below the healing point of the illness,
fallen below the critical threshold of recovery,
cast out into crisis
to feed on the fruit
of labor, the fruit born
of sweats and pains,
of thistle and thorn–
cast out unto hypocrisy,
stumbling over stone upon stone,
accusing the man while becoming the man.
Son of man, born of woman
persevering unto the end–
the travail come to be delivered–
dis-order of all dis-ease
put to order to rest in peace
by admission to the bay
of the Divine Physician’s mercy:–
the humility of a humanity recovered
by a stabbing through of the serpent’s tongue,
by woman’s foot put down, ultimately,
crushing the head of the ouroboros
–dirt-filled mouths of hubris-filled mouths–
the skulls of the snake pierced
by the cross filling his mouth
from his own eruptions. Oh, happy fault!
I said, “I will be watchful of my ways,
for fear I should sin with my tongue.
I will put a curb on my lips
when the wicked man stands before me.”
I was mute, silent, very still,
as my pain became intense.