Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max

deep in the Zungenbecken
the cold lake
of the painter knight
dreamt of a solitary
melancholy monkey
who for three years now
had lived with an old woman
high in the ruined alpine castle
in her clever parasitic abode

by day
the tame creature
would sit on the rubbled parapet wall
out in the clear crisp open air
next to the enormous cold iron cannon
whose ragged damaged snout
reminded him of the Gletscherzunge
he could just glimpse
far up the winding snow-filled valley
receding toward the craggy peaks

and at night
he would come inside
to take soup with the old woman
by the fireplace
and gaze upon the painting
of the wetnurse he had known
in his youth
who fed him sweet fruit
and sometimes he would spit in the fire
to hear it sizzle

and sometimes he too would dream
but of a different girl
the lamp-seller
who passed her lit lamps
one by one
through a slit in the deep walls
while dark palm fronds
piled up across the creamy robe
that covered her naked feet

like the deep cold waters
of the Würmsee
covering Ludwig

this monkey still dreamed
of an ideal art critic
which like a lone leafless black tree
in the cold valley of snow
looked like a harried ghost
raising its arms in indignation
and which like a worm seer
hid and harbored
a thin branching vein
of molten ore
which sometimes leaked
leaving strange amorphous
spider coins
subsequently buried
in the orderly and constant

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