wolf spider bite

I used to play a "tarantella" on the piano... I forget the composer (Mrs. Elledge, my piano teacher 45 years ago, would know).  I grew up in the Mendelssohn neighborhood of Edina, MN (named such by its early settlers, musicians with the Minnesota Symphony).  The tarantella has very ancient roots - it was originally an ecstatic, Dionysian dance meant to drive out the effects of a "tarantula" (actually, European black widow) spider bite.


The monuments tremble in the mind
like shuddering leaves... the dun-
grey flesh of Russian
olive shoots (wild weed you find

along grey highways).  Clouds
resemble ships passing
(or sheep).  An everlasting
turtledove of new beginnings crowds

grey folds to elegant mosaic –
peacock splendor, rainbow
tarantella.  Help me now,
Ancient of Daysthe mortal ache

of this wolf spider bite is like a prod
in the bull-dance arena.
I must rotate – ah,
Pocahontas handstand! – God

reward your goldfinch serenade!
Thunder & lightning speed
yon seraphim-steed
across acorn crucible (blade

pillaring smoke & fire upon hill
at Glastonbury, or
Golgotha).  Now you are
whittled down to walnut mind-rill...

pirouette... red veins of iron
rivet into diamond.
Bran-matière.  Pond-
ripple osprey, ranging (arak-golden).


Painting by Michael Gould (Elmer's glue & acrylic)

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