The Princess Plays
The princess's ball is lost,
her golden ball
she lost her ball herself.
What monarch gives a child
a golden ball to play with?
Now her body's crying out for
and the frog in the spring is playing
What is an infatuated frog's
wet trail like -
a frog lacking a crown
yet skraaking of love!
Cardsharp! you'll be purged
in a burning spring,
these games'll be washed away
in heavy water:
you'll never come out of this water
as you were,
never want to be as you were.
Now her face is framed with a burning frame,
and a ikon of desire
stares out of the mirror.
I beseech you, horrible time,
I back my way down
to that junction, I pursue another way
down the corridor, where morning dawns
in the hotel's honeycomb of sleeping rooms,
I grip his hand
and put the almost invisible ball of my breasts in it.
I beseech you,
I beseech the black hairs of your hands,
since I've stopped my games.
In these gravitational fields the summerhouses tumble down.
All that's left
on the abacus of black stars
is a suppressed cry,
an inarticulate rage to confess.
Ah, twin deep-blue stars
the princess's ball is lost in -
she's not playing now, but wailing
at the junction where she grasped the monstrous wrist
and led him away.
Now she weeps in the empty park,
and damp towers grow out of the earth -
it's the castle she's straying away to, Purgatory,
and her golden body
After this furnace everything's burnt up,
after this a woman forged of gold
This is a tale of metamorphosis,
so wailing's in place,
with no way back to before,
so let this place be thanked.
Who didn't love her,
they all loved her when she ran
laughing, hugging a golden ball,
and lost her childhood.
Now she's weeping:
I love you, Minotaur, demon,
touch of lust, I've strayed down your corridor
into the silence of the great hotel's fitted carpeting,
where the lift's iron well swallowed
a golden toy.
But the one who plays the frog in this play
he promises to bring the princess the ball,
but there's no princess,
she's no longer playing,
she longs to be a beggar in the Minotaur's castle.
Don't wound yourself, frog.
In this place one comes through only by turning
a terrible part,
an elemental purgatory
where games are sacrificed in bloody ceremonies.
Dear frog, it's truer than true,
go back to your spring. In these halls
we dance minuets on a knife-edge.
As children girls played the princess,
but later it's all real -
you don't come through.
The crown's dropped from the princess's hair,
her body's sparkling, she's gone mad.
Can't you see, she's not wanting to play,
she's gone the way of the possessed.
And now she's singinh:
I'm lost, I'm mad for him,
everything meaningless and momentous is down
just carriages are crashing by - this longing
that crumbles into words: there's
no one else, there's no one else I want.
I beg grief from you, Pasiphae's bastard,
conception of lust -
tears: for desire's whip is salty.
I scissor through Ariadne's red thread:
let blood spatter the palace walls,
the heart's red ball empty itself.
Whoever's seen the Minotaur's boyish face
desires no other - then
she runs the labyrinth of the summer night
and desires no other,
sick with desire she desires nothing
but the deep-blue boyish eyes,
the black-crowned head, the sharp horns,
to open the shirt's pearl-buttons, feel
the bastard prince's hot skin.
I've tried to forget you,
son of Minos,
I've run the length of the corridors.
It's no good,
I don't get lost.
In the Hell of summer night fires are burning,
a misty morning's struggling in a Hell of light.
The innermost circle's still untouched - there
A poem is a language of the body, like running
tissue cut from the flesh.
In the innermost of everything
comes a stop, a quitness comes.