the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY JEAN-PAUL TAYLOR

CASTLEROCK

       I dreamed that you were
       Learning to ride motorcycles.
       Probably this is some
       Configuration of your need
       To seek after thrills.
       Still it does not explain
       The presence of that
       Stranger who was teaching
       You how to ride. From
       Beneath a greying mustache
       Came words to express
       The impression that you
       Made, your desire to know.
       His blue eyes, in perfect
       Coordination with the sky,
       Spoke of an arid southwest.
       So did those red rock
       Buttes that, over to the left,
       Left me with the quesy
       Feeling that I likewise am
       A rider of those strange,
       Mechanical beasts. (By
       The way, that place does
       Have a name. It is called
       Castlerock and is located
       In Colorado.) I remember
       That I asked him some thing,
       But I cannot remember what
       It was I had asked him.
       As we spoke, you, smiling
       And helmetless, continued on
       Your ride in the dusty noon.

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THE LAUREATE, A SOCIETAL ARCHETYPE

       This image is of one old man.
       The room in which he sits is light, yet
       Tan because the wind has raised
       The dust from some thin road
  that winds beyond.

       This man is writing.
       The glaring lamp directly to
       His front is
   softly humming.

       He halts to think, then fumbles with
       A pen he bought -
                he can't think where -
       He does remember this:
       'the girl there would look good
       in my bed.' He might have
       Said -
 yet didn't -
  I'm in love.

       The gods? They float above.
       In sagas he must try to reinvent
       They shape our futures.
       The message is of one who takes

       His stand among vast solitudes.
       He knows that there is challenge to
       Be had in barely caring,
       And still he cannot hope but greatly care.

       His maid brings coffee.
       He stops to shake description from
       Those limbs that once
       Knew labor, though ever

       Since election to the peers, sense
       Only what they're told.
       That party at a friend's the other
       Night revealed nothing

       (1)
       Not preordained as what he's
       Come to know. The point is
       That we know this
       Story all too well for what

       It seems in this bright heaven;
       This stark retreat where
       One day it shall be

       As though life disappeared,
       Took with it all those after school
       Dreams that must have
       Placed him here, or

       What's the sense of knowing
       What one knows?

 He sinks
       Triumphant. His
       Chair is now that canyon where
       That bandy-legged
       Accomplice
       Sets up between two
       Mountains, (and for show),
       A kind of factory.

       For Zeus is made the bolt that split
       The seams of that young hero's ship
       Upon one hot
            and classic
            afternoon.

       The vision ends so soon.
       Reality is now that capital
       Of autumn mornings
       Where he must meet his publisher
       And walk beneath
       The lindens.
       He shall insist integrity
       Be ever as the guiding force
       That gave him
       Clever people and acclaim.

       (2)

       He'll use that other name
       When talking to
       The clerk at that
       Hotel he likes to stay at.

       A nation's moral
       Teacher must not shame.

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E.C.M.C.

       Brown grey against the light grey sky:
       This hospital is now my other home.
       Should I accept this? I wish, like Dorn, to
       Be where cattle

       Roam about the heart's own land.
       Once saw it: In the army I was
       Green against that washed out blue

       The heavens were
       that morning.
       God did roam.

       Still I am of the east, and in
       The east I dwell within
       The west of all those histories
       The need-to-look-enlightened
       Must embrace. That

       I too shall embrace, thus in the midst of
       What one calls the act recover

       Heartlands:
       Those territories known to leave
       No trace
       Of midnight's
       Foolish
       Loves.

       I as this greying structure now
       Declare my own ancestral mode
       As perfect for the logic of its time.

       Against...the atmosphere?
       Grey grey against those patterns that are
       New to what
       Men think they know.

       The roving god departs.
             The rain does too,


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