Apollonia and Dominetrix Creating Pain in the Art of the West
a photo by Joel-Peter Witkin
The harpoon taut through Prince Alberts mouth, the cock
up as if sublime, as if the cry,
Distorted into ecstasy, was prayer . . .
Hermaphrodite beneath the zippered mask,
the priest to leather moons and roses,
Who laced your boots, Jesus or Tongueless Job?
The secret song of chum . . . the shell of face,
foot and whichever way you do is wrong.
The grind, Sunoco burning the Chesapeake
Now green with tiger waves, and when you turn
turn, and gallop sideways into curls
And rings set in the mouth, scratched from the Earth . . .
Great arrow piercing the mouth, the mouth, the mouth . . .
mask we wear is filth, the heel
And dick, sharp elbows digging into wrists,
Harpoon like lightnings echo, stirrups God.
Male, or elbow-length, hard-laced Female,
The Photograph . . . You take us in, our flesh
As if we lasted more than Now, the drink
light on silver nitrate spilling skin
Where darkness sinks into the Moments bay.
No mouth, Gods evidence . . . The ospreys nest
above the center of the channel . . .
Wings cutting against the crab-legged, bitter sun . . .
Oh Petroleum, Reasons horse, fanged hockey mask,
Dominetrixs piercing ride
Into the jagged face of Nothingness,
Hand me my whip, the slash of camera light
pertinent as Oh My Shattered God
Since I am being ridden by the Flame.