centaur

by Richard Scott

But centaurs never existed; there could never be,
so to speak, a double nature in a single body.
(Lucretius) 

i

you hybrid-mind stone-stuck in viol-
ence all permanent erection atop phidias’
metophe glowering down sexy

chaos egging on the temple’s sack spill-
ing semen shouting hymns of the body o
you still here savage-muse ancient yet

teenage-smooth how can I rid myself of
you buffed-up notion of split archaic ex-
cuse tufted manifestation of other

ii

the boy looks at the sculpture /
does not yet have the word for what he is but knows that a man can be more
    than one thing /
no one has told him any different /
made him choose /
he says horse-man /
man-horse /
the boy looks at the centaur /
wants to be trampled on /
feel hooves bending ribs /
can smell musk /

iii

what are you then / o chiselled
child of rape and cloud / shaggy-
stallion-story / bareback rider /
invading hoard of one / avatar
born of collective anxiety / dream-
lover / living constellation / man-
ifest id / the bawdy bisexual mid-
baccinal / horsey lout / bad lad /
bestial base chakra / the homo in
me that wants to rut and fuck /
chaos choke-holding reason / o
I have sewn my teeth into the soil and
watched the boy-foals sprout /

iv

and if there is a face it is lined in pain

and if there is a hand it is balled into a fist

and if there is a hoof it is already brought down onto soft flesh

and if there is a beard it points towards war

v

this boy has never been one of the boys
rather the horse in shadow
moving through the stippled woods the riven other
vein of copper flashing through
granite blood in milk

and this is not the on-going country wedding wine women etc
this is the beast within a small
boy straining against his
skeleton hooves and hands
making a puppet of his skin

vi

to become this beautiful we had to be beaten
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten with clubs fists hilts
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten with acid rain hard sun
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten by polytheists monotheists
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten into bricks ballast
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten with chisels tin oxide sand paper
to become this beautiful we had to be beaten

and some of the hands that were beating us were beating us in love
and some of the hands were hooves
and some of the hands were coming from inside ourselves
and we were growing hair on our bodies
and all of this damage
and all of these fragments

vii

and when I write you
as in you liminal being
you straddler
I mean me

and when I write boy
as in boy riding a goat
as in boy drinking from the stream
I mean me

and when I write we
as in we have always been alone
I mean me
because I have always been alone

and when I write I
I am a liar
for there is no I in myth no
singular agency over the
golden rain wing’s beat etc

and when I write centaur
as in centaur model
as in centaur in his dragon world
I mean the various-
ness of the homosexual

viii

but there is no centaur /
no fragment /
no half /
I am whole and wholly indivisible /
and I am chaos /
every single minute of my life spent writhing within the granite chokehold /
centuries of pressure written onto stone /
his hand is around my throat /
my hand is around my throat /

ix

trot on now you pony-men your ghost-grey
hooves filigreed lank between your legs I
have been riven enough for one lifetime please

no more of these sentient stones these mirrored
metophes could your master the orphic
phidias even imagine me I was not born yet

I the homosexual who is not wholly trans-
historical and you his bull-butch minions with your
stone-dense minds o how I let you haunt me

saddle me into the battle that has always been
raging I am no fanatic but I will smash you into
pieces remake myself from the shards

x

(phidias my
sculptor shaman
let them become
stone again un-
animate these lithe war-
ring bodies give their
filigreed curls over to
marble drain their
bodies of blood
scrape the soil-
crust from their
hooves I
want to be the only living
thing in the mus-
eum again
I want to live)