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




FOUR WORKS
BY SASHA GORELIK

REBUILDING XANADU

From Mount Abborra the river Gihon
   Sanctifies earth.
Where Abyssinia once lay,
       fertile with Eden's soil,
encapsulated by the dome of heaven,
       theft purged our rich heritage.
Demon owners, mad brothers,
       From Western Africa to Mt. Kenya.
Ygziabeher hast delivered
across the face of the continents his children,
       the children of Menelik, son of Solomon and Sheba.
Sheba Mother, born from the lineage of Moses and Ethiopia.
       In Abyssinia still rests the Ark of the Covenant.
Twelve Tribes scattered reconvene.
       We are the lost tribe of Israel Bredren,
Sisdren take up your strength and your spirits,
Bredren, be holy and be whole,
We have work to do to rebuild Xanadu.

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OPHELIA, ORPHEUS, PAGANINI

Virgin saint adrift on flowered bark,
still water a cup of tea at dusk. A vessel.
A veil ripples candle light honey,
Your sweet story of innocence sacrificed.
A eunuch god. Alone.
What god wants a virgin girl?
Wild with vision alive at fifteen.
Timeless in death.
Disturbing the silence with wind.
Waves breathe for you.
Ophelia, Orpheus, Paganini.
Bells, violins, poems to you.
Youth petrifies to crystallize death.
Innocent death.
For a legend lives more lives
than an orphan nun longing for love
from a gray prison.

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MEMORY

I covet memory like a silk flag beating the wind with desperation.
A lone drum keeping time, whipping the winds of change with persistence.
My nation, my notion of my self, my flag, my wardrobe.
Confronted by nostalgic experience.
When what is now seems like what was then.
I revert to the many selves I have witnessed.
The I in the closet becomes me again.
I am the one I was before the one I have become.
The change is sudden and comforting.

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AMERICA PARALYZED

silence. dread silence of america paralyzed by a lie. death dance of marble
hearts. we can not act anymore. we can not feel anymore. we do not argue
anymore. we are resigned to be silent while we can not hear the screams.
on the day the towers fell, i weapt. we all weapt. we were united in grief as
we watched the pillars burn and the bodies fall.
tonight we will not see the terror in the eyes of the children... the
television will not show Baghdad suffer... not the way we watched New York
suffer.
with self-righteous resolve, we will turn our backs on the spilling of arab
blood, the dismembered limbs of souls who's families could not save them from
the burning bedroom in which they died...
our silence will not forgive us
our righteousness will not end their suffering
unacknowledged guilt invites chimeras... we will be haunted for turning away...
the suffering is far from over