Mercury Rising: Metz Wedding Poem

Knap an arrowhead from a piece of flint

sharp on each side leading up to the point

Wonderful but useless until the projectile is launched

properly: shot so that it goes twisting

through the air.

Distance is determined not by the clean-cutting edge at the front

but by the purity of the axial rotation all along its trajectory.

The razor edges jigging around each other in a tight spiral

the body, like a javelin, purchasing lift from the air itself.

A winged foot lent by Hermes takes you across borders you never thought to cross before.

You fly, you travel far. You hunt love and trade in love. You make ordinary love look shabby, and even mythical lovers sit and write songs about your love.

Trust the mythical lovers who watch in awe to write the songs.

We will do it. We will sing them back to you to Godspeed you ever higher.

What prey can you pray for,

of any value, I mean,

that can be hit at such a short distance that your rotation

is of no consequence?

None. Everything valuable is deep, underground, distant, far, high, lofty, up in the storm-clouds, awash in lightning, shrouded in thunder, in short: anything but near at hand.

So the dance is everything.

Therefore, yes, you are sharp, but if you had not launched with your feathers

skyward, spinning, thrice propelled, by string and song and wedding feast! If you had not, old poets would come along and say “Alas.”

Well, then. Here they are, those old poets. We know that if you had not,

This voyage would have been but a crooked flight, a glancing strike, a blunt trauma.

But you did begin as you should: with the flourish of Robin Hood. cloaked and pranking evil, the eye of a kestrel darting, instinct of a barn swallow dive-bombing, an essential arc, a primal aerodynamic path, a minimized drag, a fletching set at an angle to your longitudinal axis, we digress, we have all become rather excited researching the flight of arrows and we geeked out on it at 3 AM, because we now see, and by “we” I mean that the ancient poets and muses all have agreed with me, that because you began this way:

You will soar,

I say, we all say, you will soar high

and you will pierce even darkness, which, as we know, has not understood any of this.

May the flint strike and drive through even steel

sparking a fire,

so that you find your hearts kindled even far off in the distance, across many seas.

The future awaits. Stay sharp and dance together.

Hone yourselves, but above all, dance together.

For God’s sake, smile while you dance, you fools,

whirl about one another and be in love.

 

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