Today, I used the challenge put forth over at NaPoWriMo.
Our prompt for today, however, is not likely to induce smiles. For today, I challenge you to write an elegy. Classically, an elegy is a poem written in response to someone’s death, a poem of mourning and remembrance. Your elegy can be about a specific person, a group of people, a pet, a plant, even an idea. Or, like Anne Sexton, you could try your hand at an anti-elegy.I have had an idea kicking around in my head for a couple months now (a bizarro image/metaphor, really), and this prompt gave me the perfect excuse to explore it.
Aerugo and Rust
an elegy for Peter Steele
A bloodhound staring down a hypodermic nose
will never forget the scent, will never lose track.
Its syringe-shaped proboscis, instilling the skin
with juices pooled at the bottom of black spoons,
is a Babylonian hook in the septum: this way to
captivity. This bloodhound is of all things patient.
Years will not dull the smell of blood and skin.
Once it is shown a protruding vein, it is only
a matter of when.
Whitney Houston proved this, but she was not
the first with a heart too full of this bloodhound’s
effluvia to run from the hunt any longer, to beat
in arhythmic defiance. I only wish you, Peter,
had resolved to lead your life like you did your
sludge-fuzzed musical outlet: with an unbowable
originality. Perhaps then you never would have
whet that hound’s appetite in inhaled tally marks,
consigning it your heart.
Peter, even though it eventually found you, seizing
its cardiac property with pulmonary-born fingers,
I wonder if you weren’t surprised, because much
of what I know as wisdom I did not receive from
a fool. No servant is greater than his master, so
if I realized this, the bloodhound’s bent, I wonder
didn’t you? As note by funerary note you crafted
your dirge-somber legacy, did you hear it coming?
Underneath your druidic Mass, there’s the slightest
but most dire howling.