The Necromancer

Circe, Pen & Ink Sketch, 1996; Richard Van Ingram
Circe, Pen & Ink Sketch, 1996; Richard Van Ingram

A Poem

There is no fire in those lips,

No life where once my name was spoken.

Just the debris and ruins of yesterdays

And even now she slips away with the shades

To take her place in that winding retinue

Of damnation. And my house is empty,

And the wind blows through it cold,

And they come in the night to visit

For they have no intercourse with light –

Like Odysseus of old I know the workings

Of that old magic with which he summoned

Brave Achilles back from the depths of Hades;

I know it requires blood and so I feed

These memories of women with blood

From my own veins, else they would fade

And die with the sun. It is my Fate,

For I am given the task of walking the center

Path, one foot in shade, the other in day,

That I might be granted boons from Nyx

Herself and speak with the absent dead.

So my throne is always in shadow,

Permanently, my eyes are darkened

By what I’ve seen.

 

I know more of the dead than the living;

I speak more often with dust and corpses

Than a beating, yearning heart;

My hands know cold skeletal love by rote,

But little of heated curves in the flash

Of that sacred, lust-driven moment

Instituted by the Divine to make us One

With all worth knowing in this rotting world.

 

I open books sanctified by years and dust,

Call up sages, saints, fine sinners;

I call up a fine brother- and sisterhood

That whispers their secrets to me,

Brings me news from former days

In return for a taste of the leaking holes

In my arms; and their mouths are dusty,

Their breath thick with mold and rust,

Their stolen kisses are harsh and bitter,

Their hands rattle through clumsy

Molestations of my frame. We trade

Life for knowledge, warmth for truth;

And I am but a filthy prostitute

At the command and pleasure

of gossip.

 

Time would know nothing

Of what passed between us.

I’d work that other spell with you,

The one where moments embody Eternity

And shake off the inevitability

Of the damned.

So she fades, even now, into

That long and winding retinue

And leaves me with the chill of learning,

The cold remnants of experience.

The autumn winds blow through my house,

All the windows are open so the shadow

Women may come and go at wish and will

To feed and speak, each in turn,

And I bear away their pain and words

And hold those close within my heart.


I am a leaden vault constructed to contain

What would otherwise expire in the bright

Beauty of a fine and present day.

Yes, Saturn knows my name, I know

His and we are not friends, but I serve

Nonetheless; I know my dark and proper

Station near Avernus, where many pass

And fade, even as she does, even now,

With the dim memory of her once warm

Lips that itself goes the way of all flesh.

I would spend a day in light.

I would know a day where the sun burned

Hard through even night.

I would know an evening where my hands

Were filled with life and my mouth

Tasted Paradise in a woman’s form.

I would know an evening where

I sent even the dead back into their graves

And shared no blood save with you.

I would know a day where I spoke

My own words, and did not give voice

To eons past and gone. I would be here,

Now, for once, and speak with my mouth

Into my dearest’s ear (that thieving tomb).

I’d spend a day with you and know

Something of living.

RVI

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Comments 11 comments

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Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Much appreciated, epigramman. I wore myself out writing that one. Thank you for reading and enjoying my work -- it's good to see someone getting something out of what I write.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

profound , epic and I am just plain out of (add expletive here) breath - I need a nap and some dreams and a nice cuppa tea - oh god your writing is so grand!


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, wesleycox. It was difficult to write.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 6 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

Absolutely awe inspiring! Such darkness within and I sensed a yearning in it as well. At any rate this is some powerful stuff.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, Jykieth. You, too.


Jykeith Comal profile image

Jykeith Comal 6 years ago from Cincinnati OH

Thanks and have a good evening.


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, XTASIS.


XTASIS profile image

XTASIS 6 years ago from The Beginning

I love the darknes in it. Very vivid ! My imagination wanders among your words. Thank you !


Richard VanIngram profile image

Richard VanIngram 6 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Author

Thank you, Paradis7. The sketch was done for a painting that is now lost -- I may repaint it. It combines classical imagery with medieval and modern imagery -- Circe turning a mn into a pig; a gasmask making a man's face look pig-like; the phases of the moon becoming the Eucharist; a woman representing innocence and strngth looking on. It's a voyage picture.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

The sketch along with the poem are both haunting pieces of work.

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