The Lost Country

Fall 2014 • Vol. 3, No. 1

issn 2326-5310 (online)

The Birth of Nations

By Nathaniel Black Rupp

This work was published in the Fall 2014 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

April showers bring May flowers
   Is what she said.
   I remember those flowers,
   Knotted together garlanding your head
   As if you were a child Caesar or a
   Dionysian dancer. As you entered
   The room cold and dripping, your flowers
   Dropped, brown buds dripping,
   You coughed.

We spent the summer wishing for breeze
   And the winter for snow. And up in the hills
   You called me with memories of fires
   And rusted sleds, of beautiful youth
   Flying down hills.
      And as I held you, you said,
      –don’t fear
   All the while the Brook had me memorizing Eliot.
      “here is no water only rock”
      With flowers in your hair!
      And thunder with no rain

Tell each Hercules to rid the world of forest!
   As we build the alter the Thunder brewed.
       “dry sterile thunder without rain”
       the Brook made me recite.
   The thunder is the Word, and the Word the thunder.
   And we built the alter, to see the fire come.
   Amidst the smoke of felled forest, two ravens soared
   The One-Eyed-Father now fully blind
   Is a sacrament to himself.

The Everyman, the hero of the third age, rinsed off his cock
   Before putting on his pants to leave.
   This jungle is his city. He takes what he wants,
   He is free to do what he can, and he can.
   And this jungle, the jungle of broken words
      –did you look at every likeness?
      –are you sure that’s him?
   The most rotten fruit made the most appealing
   With each twist of a word the world turns more
   Until the wheel re-turns and the city is a jungle
      “Unreal city!”–I recite

The birth of nations is not like the birth of man,
   So is its maturing and its death–
   Jove is the sky. Everyman looks out on history
   And smiles. His time will come again.
      It always will.
   You do not scream as you give birth
      Just cry.
   And look upon history
      And never smile.