A Tomb for Paul Bray

The witches and nymphs are weeping
in the Primal Forest, and all of the trees
are throwing down their leaves. So we
would like to believe. But of this we are
certain: the channeller is gone. No more
sinewy rhymes and meters straining
against the boundaries, seeking
to take flight. Syntax and lexicon
may groan beneath the weight
of other edifices, but the convulsive
episodes, spasmodic revelations,
polyrhythmic cries inveighed against
the Archons—these we know have ceased.

Shudders in attics and haylofts. Meetings
at the crossroads. Blues and hymns.
Golems and homunculi. Hagiographies.
Comic books. Nanotorahs. The channeller
knew them all and laughed. The gremlins
that plagued him laughed too, at the lost
email, the cell phone that could not hold
a charge. Lightning strikes in the desert.
Lightning strikes in the swamp:
the thing takes life and shambles away.
The puppets hide in the grotto, until
they are driven forth. Their ancestors
are idols with speaking tubes stretched

from the here to the hereafter. Jackal-
and ibis-headed gods murmur in
the shadows. We come upon the ruins
of the inter-dimensional temple
through access points at Memphis,
Bohemia Manor, and Nambé.
There is a door in the sky, an abyss
at the South Pole. The Anthropos looms
above and below. But the teeming world
is suddenly empty, drained of its power,
devolving into clay and slime. The magus
puts on his lab coat, watches the level
of oneiric energy sink to record lows.

Perhaps this is why he has left us.
Perhaps in a dream of ancient places
to which the storybook animals long
to return, the lost ones are never really
found. “Yours in the Pleroma,” the letters
would end. The god-machines nod and
point the way. But if the things below
are as the things above, there is an empty
seat among the Aeons, another space
on Sophia’s bookshelf waiting to be filled.
Up and in, out and down. He called it
Gothic Heaven-Storming. Lock up
the Cabinet of Curiosities, and walk away.

Norman Finkelstein (© 2012)