I consider breaking this into two posts but the last poems from Thursday’s Treasures of Tutankhamun-inspired poetry jam on Twitter turned out to be so short that I decided to keep all of them together. This concludes the poems that resulted from the jam.
The Songs of King Tut 4
The Weariness of a King
When I am tired, I can feel the weary
world in my every hollow bone, lotus
white, fragile like a god made of morning
light. I want to emerge from this lotus
flower or filigreed fans of linear words.
My God emerged from the lotus flower
of a woman’s body, the words falling out
of his mouth, dripping off of his tongue.
What else would a king drive to parties
but this yellow Elise like 189 horses, each
with the power of four and twenty falcons
baked in a six pence song. What pie this is!
Falcons baked within like apples on Thanksgiving
Day. Pass the whipped cream and other dainty
dishes, finding verse in raisins and honey biscuits
sweet enough for the sun.
Because he could not write, I drove him to parties
on golden chariots of breath, of words. I feel some
days that I am not able to write myself. What
would have happened to me if I had been born
before women were allowed to use their words like
I do? How many poets did we miss? Their voices
were silenced. They wrote their poems in baking bread
and raising children.
Time for spit from tongue.
You cannot write yourself; leave that to
light touching you just so, showing your
contour through glass mornings.
Mornings have felt like glass, lately, as I
rise into the foggy fragility of another day.
I have missed my light-filled mornings, rivers
of glass decorated/honeyed with moon; now
the glass seems empty, only a few small drops left
but I will shake them free, reflecting back from
first glass of water, hydrating life back into the day
and words pour from once-parched throat.
He made excuses, and believed the “no time” lie.
You are my counterpoise, the lotus to my poppy
the pepper to my raisined honey. I have no idea
where I am, or you are, yet I know you are here,
also trying to find your way. Prayers can whisper
through lotus nights or scream through red
poppy mornings; each finds its way.
She is often my field of Oz Poppies. She is a
safe open field where I can rest. True friendship
can be like this. if I could not write it all out, I
would be in the tomb, worn out from all that
roams through night and day. I would be honeyed
with moon over lotus, dripping with ambered love
before day breaks. Droplets fall
into the red curve of petal, capturing dew of the
night for the day.
The words of a poem are like ancient insects
trapped inside the amber glass: beta lotus, alpha
poppy, moon bark omega, equally dissected into
Tree limbs crash through glass windows, warning
of things to come.
Gold daggers pierce glass, emerge
honey- sheathed with carnelian-thick
life, trapping bones of royalty to
capture the stories.
Gold daggers reserved for royal few but
golden words all can wield mightier than
sword, gashing themselves hopkins style,
gold vermillion, royal sparks, divinity coals.
Royal daggers drawn unexpected slice the
life from poppy stem, simplicity against all
reason. Ah, there the counterpoise before
the dagger, stab quickly before the time passes.
If you are going to stab me, have the decency
to aim for my heart from the front, from my
face, and use a gold dagger. Always the sharp
edge. Always the game of the knife.
And the laughing cut, like the words of a
poem, intoxicate like poppy seeds, red petals
searing our hearts with promise of love, dead
words like glass-shattered chunks squared.
Drown me down, shoot me wet, never cut me
Laughing; gash gold, promise gold, laugh gold,
hold gold against all reason. In the garden insects
hum; dead words rise, reaching for heaven. Into
the golden glow into the bright star light,
the words now dull float into the night. The
breeze blew and quietly settled amongst the stars.
Yet how can words be dead? I do not think they ever
really die. I did not laugh when I cut you with
dagger-edged words; my knife-sharp tongue is
clumsy as my wit. I once tried to buy an ebony
breast-dagger in a market in a small city in Mexico.
I was 16 and had no breasts to hold that dagger.
Words were too fragile to contain the feeling of farewell.
The Color of Alabaster
I should know the color of alabaster.
White, is it not?
Anne Shirley always made me desire an alabaster
brow, alabaster and ebony,
Mix the two and you’ve got concrete grey.
The Court of King Tut Gives Feedback
So now, poetry aside, did the page work or
what tool did y’all use? More crashes, more
halting pauses, more nodes of net confused
by verse traffic? Let us know if you used the
game page. If so, how it went. If not, was it
because it seemed unwieldy, or what?
Promise warning please; unknown words swirl
slowly. May order never cease to amaze us. Yes,
the page worked. How often do you have these
We have killed Tweetdeck with words of glass,
daggers of gold. Had half-minute delays on my
contributions at times, but the game page still
showed them eventually. I’m assuming others
also noted this.
Tweetdeck is definitely way faster, but then
you can miss people you may not be following.
Surely I am missing something here, while I wait;
it comes so slowly now — blink, it will be as if it
All hail the author of the beta tool
Hail man of lotus tea, iced, Egyptian sugared
pectoral beta muscled tool!
Farewell to Tut and Nefertiti
Fifty minutes plus ten
makes for a full
vase of night poetry.
An hour come and gone,
buried now with its
golden words and
because like Aguecheek
in his Twelfth Night,
we are lovers of beef
and cross garters.
- Poets and Poems: Yvor Winters and “Selected Poems” - September 19, 2023
- “The Battle of Maldon” by J.R.R Tolkien, Edited by Peter Grybauskas - September 12, 2023
- Poets and Poems: Stephen Cushman and “Keep the Feast” - September 5, 2023