August 18, 2005

Painkiller, a poem by J. Mayhall

Ardent work is a painkiller,
like just your handwriting on a page,
and doing mathematics--that connects with central
neurological tracks, vast circulatory blood-

lights, into aphrodisiacal
forgetfulness. And the more aching a line
of poem, the more it lulls.
Intense dancers on broken toes

insist they never noticed. Like Tchaikovsky
using his tears on laboring music scores, the
melody narcotic. Or running the good
race eludes the hurt.

Mind over matter? It's the brandy gift
of life. Or from a crack in Nothingness--
creation of the world. And must have
been some backbreaking,

godless job. Enormous, long time
over-hours. Working like a dog, that
sweet analgesic postponement
of the End.

by Jane Mayhall
Sleeping Late on Judgment Day,
Alfred A. Knopf, 2004

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