William Blake is a wretched wick of burnt candle whose light quivers rather than glows. His etchings grind the grains of their subjects into some steel image of permanence. Something he will never be. He is more like the dust he blows from the copper. The word “etch” and the strange corpus he left behind. Engraving nails that spark like stars.
The illuminated ore of Dante.
The shadows mock him; perhaps it is simply the weight of these shadows, created by atmospheric chemistry, that cling like claws to his shackled heart? Dante’s inferno has spiral staircases that lead both up and down and Blake seems to be walking in circles. Neither up nor down, neither heaven nor hell. The curl and the black smoke. When you’ve seen the head of God burst through your window everything else becomes small.
Lost souls. (As opposed of those who have either been found or in the process of being found) Who keeps track or collects them? It must be a tedious job.
Wings bent or misshapen, black as crows and foul.
The mechanical kind of levers and pulleys always
need greasing and re-tooling. Broken springs and
stripped screws. The metal shavings are like snow.
Blake wonders; what kind of wrecked feathers do angels have?
Heaven is full of dark woods and unseen strangers; unmarked graves and the musky hulls of those children conceived in death. It is this eternal fuse which burns Blake to shimmering sadness.
(Somewhere below the grate + the glow)
Blake lives in-between the grate of life and the glow of some divine purpose, which is why Wordsworth called him mad; can anyone linger alone in such rarified air and expect to return without a few menacing teeth marks left as scars?
Blake lives in a state of friction + fiction/
of such wretched disbelief + grim squalor that even shame closes its eyes/
while grinning still at the doomed folly + shipwrecked fate of a man who dares
to deem himself both poet + prophet in such reckless times as these/
times of the deaf + the blind/
of angels + bombs/
of times when grief is but an anchor.
[How many vicious sisters can one man have?]
In the end, it is simply a question of why.