Creation Myth Suite

G.C. Waldrep


The deer do not know

the earth is round.


they bear their young

anyway, in Vermeer’s

blond glow.

By the lake I sank

to my damaged knees,

not having met

any citizen of memory.

The lepers drifted

westward, bleary

in their treaty-dances,

their prophet’s

muscle. In this posture

the revolution

began, spinning lazily


into presidencies,

lush & unrestrained.



I can write no more

about bread

than about tin,

each of which

the sunrise presents

to me in turn:

Tin or bread, bread

or tin.

I once held a gun

while cancer

rucked my blood’s


vein. I convoked

a parliament

of bridges,

to which I pled

my scabbed kinship.

Bread or tin, tin

or bread

they chanted

until, at length, I

left that island.

Nothing burned

more brightly than

the oldest

ladder, its rungs

silver with

splinters. Are you

not astonished,

the sunrise

demands, swigging

its chalky nectar.

I am a war

is what I tell it, then.

It nods, it

has read the book,

it can see

time’s other motion.



I painted my bed

with pomegranates

& turtledoves:

I wanted

to worship there,

in the crutch

or crux of memory.

For six nights

I set the cut

flowers of dusk

in a vase

next to my bed,

let them sing

their silent hymns.

I hid my garments

from my

old man’s beard,

blessed them

on their journeys

reckoned according

to the algorithms

of dry planets.

Instead I hemmed

the lashes of

love’s stone lyre,

its dense &

superscripted vowel.

Dawn met me

in bitter knots,


a continent

from my right hand.



Here I am, with my pulse

of thorns.

My limbs are churches

at which my navel


They ascend & descend

like frontiers,

bleak about their frayed

edges. I have

stopped all the clocks

again, so that

we can weigh the yews

without further

interruption. Be a throne,

my physicians insist;

be a thirsty

spar. The greatest

honey sheathes

both our armies, Master.



At my summons

a lamp

left its burden

along the old road.

It brought

bells with it.

I traded the bells

for a city.

I slept inside


insomniac eye.

May I go then

the lamp inquired.

We paused

at the edge

of the orchard

my father planted,

pruning hooks


in both our exiles.



Let the thirsty wedding


our venous baptisms,

let them dwindle

in the city of shepherds

where no shepherds

ever come. I lay

my ash against a myth

& recite

the catechism of pollen.

My lungs are the dawn

no sun

will ever witness,

a helm of trembling

erasures. Like breath

they fragment

as they char

into vows: vows, &

all their lucid shadows.


about the author