poetry

Gaugamela

victorian-brothel1

Into darkling purpose I am drawn. A thought too far into the wistful silence of my mind. Give me a moment and you shall see. My eyes glow bright with hungry

lunacy.

Answer me this: where do the last gentlemen go for the night? Do they sing the praises of the gutter or do they drop the charade of nonchalance and gambol gaily to the nearest inn? I thought that the absinthe would have a more catastrophic effect upon their morals; it is quite a lark to me that they did not end up in the

arms of Cheapside whores. Trusting as I do the darkest of the hours, I look askance at those who tire when the clock above

the bar strikes Ten.

How sad that we, as mortal men, must contend with the fact that too little is oft too late, and platitudes do not oft change attitudes of strong willed, Iron forged, young men

who wish to play at warrior. Only later they learn that their metallic hides can and will melt in the furnace of war. All is elemental, and all

elements perform as to their nature. So it is with men, and gods,

and dogs alike.

The new alloy of a new millennium bears the unmistakable stamp of the old metal. We look to the past for comfort, but we are always betrayed by the truth. The ancients and their wisdom amount to the wisdom of an ancient time, lost to us, recast in iron.

We are what we made ourselves, but in

making ourselves thus we are fooled; nothing comes without a touch of nothing. We

must fail at our only precepts if we are to succeed in

the arts we feel gestating in our hearts waiting to be born like Pallas from the gory maw wrought from our unending churning thoughts.

The sage young man wept alone in his chambers. He feared himself, and his potential because who knew not what that potential would mean. They are pale reflections of their mothers fury; in the bedroom they were forged but in the streets they are galvanized against the salt poured into their open wounds by feckless roustabouts on leave from the storm whipped shore.

English men are made of stronger stuff than this: an Iron-hide for a brazen heart.

No forge to melt their sinners intent, lust abounds, but naught but the fulsome kiss from a woman who they truly fear to love.

For she cares for him despite his awful coat of armor: she will polish his skin with tears brought forth by memories of mirthful childhoods not shared.Gaugamela was fought on an even plane, and without the benefit of a

modern sense of mechanical pathos. The grinding gears of war; the sinews of the warhorses strained to snapping, the wheels of the chariots exploding on the sharp desert rocks of the plain leading to Irbil.

These were the machines that wreaked havoc on the minds and

bodies of the ancient victims of man’s only real incurable disease. War rots the flesh it infests, and the infestation is potent and boils in the pure broth every man is weaned on. Some are fed this broth just a touch too long, and so

the noblemen who we trust to feed the souls of our young men strive to do what they can to undue the damage done. Nothing treasured more than silk and gold the

precious metals ground into their very pores

A spear adorned with a Nubian’s skull and a blasphemous poem condemning the Hellenic pantheon. Athena, praise her holy name!

    Ares, praise his holy name!

    Hermes, let swift my words to

                Zeus in his cloudy copse of golden trees

and silver star

    And dread Hades treat our souls liberally

for we are poor men and cannot afford to pay Karon’s

Toll

The horses screamed and pulled against their silver bridles. Horse-masters whipped them into a lather and cursed their names going back a thousand years. A true war horse like a true warrior responds to derision and not to praise. It urges him on to greater things and allows him faithfully imitate the Gods. Alexander lion maned man made god by his own hand and by the blood of his father he himself slaughtered. He

is at the head of an army of 90,000 brave Hellens and Asians and Darius the foul king of Persia and Africa had a cohort of 1,000,000 Persians and Africans driven

mad by the sun and the lust for blood and rapine.

Phalanx upon phalanx upon the end of one line to the next flanked by cavalry and camels and chariots one chariot held the noble person of Alexander of Macedon King of the Greeks and Of The Asians and of Africa and Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. He is titled. he is Noble. He has much to recommend him. He has the force of personality and lust for life proper in a Blackleg and a krank.

I slum a lead slug tuppence for a half a loaf of day old bread and bowed my head as a nobleman walked by. he had a cane made from the ivory horn of a Javan rhino killed by an imperial bigwig probably himself. Toff and toffer side by side near the Themes in fact she was a lovely wench a lady looking sort as much as she could be for a whore A proper strong man’s chin on a buxom wanton body losing its way to sin but not yet lost real Androgynaikal. All the people on the street talking of Poor Davie and that goom Uriah Heep but I was looking for a bed and all I could find were hutches full of men drunk on brown and cheap watered

down wine. and beer I forgot that. but the woman she was certainly comely blackamoor in part not doubt. Wavy hair and skin darker than Englishwoman of her trade. finding nota bed not a cot not even a hammock we finally settled on a close corner in the blind of the street and the second story flat windows. She took me into her and I writhed about until I give out and leave in her what I didn’t need so much at all. ‘Twas 4 minutes from jape to jizzum and a minute more to pay her with another slug and dart into the crowd for she had the time to find she had been had for cheaper than the cheap she knew she was. I stood by two Scotsmen brawling about haggis or the king or some other

such Highland thing. I whistled for a cab a mustard pot took me and I rode all the way to the Embankment so has to watch the barges vomit up their sundries and soldiers and imperial booty. the Queen was given an elephant, an elephant!, by the king of the Punjab or Delhi or some such Hindoo

bull. the

pachyderm was clad in steel ringlets and brass helm studded with the rarest gems. It roared! The horses reared and the camels barked and foamed at the lip. the phalanxes were ordered into a march and they cried out their love and esteem for Alexander and Ptolemy and

the

Persian

horde

stirred

belching forth the slaves and the captured peoples who wept and screamed persuaded by the tip of ten thousand spears to run into their god’s embrace. The Hellens had no qualms sending them thence. The slaves and villeins died by the dozen first but dozens make hundreds and thousands soon lay dead in the sand. But not a few Hellens lay

there with them casting their prayers up to whatever god had served them best in life. some of Alexander’s cohort hesitated in the face of the onslaught unfolding before them. the Persian host let loose a storm of arrows. the shields held most but many were pierced but not so many that

Alexander felt compelled to halt his charge.

The blood in a thousand hearts ran

cold when the Eastern wizards came forth casting their spells and burning their powders and incense. Their poisons were potent and many a proud man died an ignoble death. O! la! it’s hard to find a good christian in this city or this country anymore. All pagans and atheists and Mahomedans and abolitionists and Irish free-soilers and Torys. It takes all a man has to find a decent fellow in the lot but when he does he clings to him and cleaves to him like the lord ordained a man and merchant or a man and wife. Every specimen of humanity scurrying about like rats on a ship bound for the Venice docks. The worst of

all is the Englishman that happy

scourge that pleasant plague sipping Darjeeling and toasting to a Thousand empires born and yet to be and wished to come and far too close to being. West Indies bound the Other Side will be pleased with the wares on offer and the fortunes to be had ledger books bursting with

Numbers and bills of sale. So many

men can strike it rich with just a flourish of their pen and a nod of their head. There are peoples for barter and lands for vermin to nibble and nosh. Wander the alleys of Westminster and cavorting about the shadow of the Abbey and the Saints and the sailors and the rabid kings of Plenty and shy obscurity peace in our realm

while the colonies peg away at each other damning the days and risking each night before and after the twilight and the stars come out to view the carnage and tour that place they call the sunny South. Good to be an Englishman

who hires out the danger and collects the honor on alternate Thursdays. But perhaps the Indian is a man? a man

enraged and ready and we would be condemned as perfidious by any god worth his salt had we any soul to gall sadly though that’s

not my problem any more than it is Mum’s on her throne whiling away the hours before the end of the battle and the inevitable clicking and turning of the gears of war and time

On the field so many lost but so much gained an Empire of the sand and the expanse and the east spread

out before Alexander Gaugamela was

a lock and the

key is Hellenic and proud and scared and covered in gore and tears Darius flees at the head of his retinue Alexander proud reaches out for his foe and beckons for a strong embrace

A acknowledgement of one crown fallen into the dirt for a better man or at

least A

Bitter one.

the army looks to follow the recourse of the sun and bathe in the Indus wash themselves and clean the wariness from their swollen eyes for into darkling purpose they are drawn 1000 days from their hearths and women and flocks each mile a new life and each city a new home to abandon and I walk along the river tipping back a bit of the green fairy and I swear oh I swear I saw the Themes clogged from bank to bank with the corpses of a million Persian wretches sacrificed for the glory of an erstwhile princeling cum King of Hellenic honors as meaningless as the banners that float

about the tower and the Parliament

At night it is all so much mud dredged from the river and applied all about like some sort of

Salve

For the world is an abattoir and we are pigs at play while Dead is dead no advent no adventure for this

kingdom come away

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