Marty Scott

Apollonia and Dominetrix Creating Pain in the Art of the West

                                                                                          After a photo by Joel-Peter Witkin

The harpoon taut through Prince Albert’s mouth, the cock
                  Drawn up as if sublime, as if the cry,
Distorted into ecstasy, was prayer . . .

Hermaphrodite beneath the zippered mask,
                  Riding the priest to leather moons and roses,
Who laced your boots, Jesus or Tongueless Job?

The secret song of chum . . . the shell of face,
                  Clam foot and whichever way you do is wrong.
The grind, Sunoco burning the Chesapeake

Now green with tiger waves, and when you turn
                  They 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 . . .
                  Whatever mask we wear is filth, the heel
And dick, sharp elbows digging into wrists,

Harpoon like lightning’s echo, stirrup’s God.
                  The Male, or elbow-length, hard-laced Female,
The Photograph . . . You take us in, our flesh

As if we lasted more than Now, the drink
                  Of light on silver nitrate spilling skin
Where darkness sinks into the Moment’s bay.

No mouth, God’s evidence . . . The osprey’s nest
                  Bobbing above the center of the channel . . .
Wings cutting against the crab-legged, bitter sun . . .

Oh Petroleum, Reason’s horse, fanged hockey mask,
                  Observing Dominetrix’s piercing ride
Into the jagged face of Nothingness,

Hand me my whip, the slash of camera light
                  As pertinent as Oh My Shattered God
Since I am being ridden by the Flame.