Andrew Wykes







as if to denote, other than the obvious modern-day greeting,

a generalization about the origins of symbols

as from a higher plane

caught by a glimpse, fleeting

like fire in primordial hands

proffered by some prometheus somewhere

now suffering eternally

in chiseled far-away lands

an alien world that I create now for him using his gift

a katabatic precipice in vacuum soaring above

a lifeless stage, not unlike the

desolate hinterlands of a murderer’s mind

where perhaps he is indeed entombed

to be disemboweled daily

by raucous ravens

within the mind’s maniacal contemplations.


and if a gift so given as to be like the fire’s spark,

that innovation from which all others sprang,

enflaming the eternal lantern of Science

guarding us against the deeps of dark,

if a gift like that -

these words, these symbols, uttered meanings -

what the hand dare seize the fire?

though with the first we’ll never chat,

you can be certain in your reading that

you’ve met with one who thought it to seize,

thought to wield it over open seas

as if to cleave a path of meaning through the foam

and down that darkened crevasse roam.


Spark! the word leaps from the page,

dark from light,

the darkness illuminates, so sage,

so idiot, a savant directed only by my knowing

a minute tapestry of my sewing

that I expect others to reference well

trackless deeps away in their own cell,

but Spark! they’ll see across the void

and perhaps religion will be deployed,

as they make meaning from what I’d employed

for purposes entirely other to their dreams.


Yet it is well that words are held so holy.

for what is more sacred than the creator,

and how did that cosmic force contrive,

but to speak alive and make alive

the thespians and their theater




The Word,

is what we are

for what would we be to each other without language

but another savage agency, entirely apart from understanding,

and fit only to kill?

that is not meaning. but as long as we suppose

that the flower is a plant,

and that plant alive,

and called a rose,


We are the hand dare seize the fire


Spark! We light a black beacon

over the alkali desert

whether for heresy or worship

may not be told

an enigma machine perhaps, but

our power ultimate,

and as soon as We say, We cannot un-say

for what We have said is potent already, whispering,

perhaps even about us.









Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790