Daughters of Anomaly

      (for Traci Lords)


All the cock-sucking,
all the cunt-lapping,
all the butt-fucking
in the world
can’t forge a bond
that lasts beyond
the bounds of flesh and boredom;
time, a river with
Charon waiting
patient as Job,
shuttling busy
as a bee
from bank to bank


carries us all.




Thrice holy,
over the shivering waves,
the sauce of life
sets all aflame,
spurts all over the place;
Traci rears up
pretty and weary,
her face not safe
nor her backside either.
Apollo, bright
as the day is long,
casts his shadow,
on bush and brake
and then departs,
serene and singing,
the lyre pinging
like sonar.
Traci gapes,
her comb drips honey;
pendent the homunculus
in her hand’s saving grace.


The god of the sun,
red as a rose,
makes off
with Venus roving
ahead and behind;
scary night falls
like a ton of coal.


Holy cow!
All the tits and ass
in movie bedrooms,
all the hired roosters,
loveless and uplifting,
not more foolish
than the knights of
Parsifal, than
Parsifal himself,
spent and sinning.


Daughters of Anomaly,
pierced through and through,
make me pay
like Faust;
between the lines
the lamp stinks still.


Traci was
cute as a button,
rode like a queen,
and was ridden;
Christy was
sweet and thick
as marmalade.
What do they do
to make us make
them live and live
in the memory
like caryatids
standing in a row?
That touch of
easy abundance,
ripe and serene
as the lazy summer sea.


Daughters of Anomaly,
let me give you,
each of you,
lauds, metaphors,
words lost in time
and space.
Naughty naked girls,
straight out I say
I love you truly;
forget the lines
the limbs
we never knew.


Daughters of Anomaly,
anomalous, anarchic,
my treasures, hunted forever,
all the cavorting and bumping,
all the laws of life
and death,
the brave remarks at
can’t make us forget
it’s only skin in
the flickering fucking game
that comes and goes
before the lens,
without terror,
without love,
without us thinking it’s
error this human act
doesn’t support
the innocent flowers
and daughters,
Horus’ penetration of
the beauty beneath.


Mary, Astarte,
maiden of the moon,
crown of flowers
come for me!


Daughters of Anomaly,
get close to me! Or close enough.
Asphodel, wine and
sleep please;
sleep without end.
Time, ladies,
dull as dishwater,
is up,
praise is done,
your patient labors dismissed.



    Sacred The Braid

 (Euripides’ Bacchae)


Hieros ho plokamos,
up till now
improvident horn of plenty;
a schoolboy theme,
an easy text,
an easy ticket,
a mediocrity.


Up till now,
hieros ho plokamos,
the good guy
was darn cute
on a horse;
now he’s just another cowpoke
coming in
on a scrubby mare,


somber and stupid.


Up till now,
hieros ho plokamos,
salamanders died
pitifully in the fire;
now they swim
through flames
like glittering salmon.


Up till now
the unicorn
a white horn
delicate as snow,
a sacred mane,
a head
white as bone.


But now vultures
make nests of blood
in his mane,
turn his white
to Phoenician red.
His horn towering
frightful, awful
as the pillar of Taharka
looks down
on the Sphinx,
on the Acropolis,
on glorious buzzing Bangkok.


Hieros ho plokamos,
he stands there
sweet and young,
forever divine,
forever extinct,
starting his course;


look now
he nears his distant end.




             Herr Doktor Luther


that mythological throne,
creates his psychic apparatus complete.
His nightgown hiked up
over his bum,
Doctor Luther’s precious blobs
fall in the bowl,
one by one,
and the Devil take the hindmost.


Speak of the Devil,
and the Devil speaks;
Luther saw his hoof everywhere.
Mankind bereft,
in sinful preoccupation
trembles along on grace.
Faith and reason
toss and turn;
unnatural bedfellows.


Spread out
across the page,
I reconstruct a man
sitting on a toilet,
thinking a passion.
Flesh becomes clay
or worse
under the strain,
and Luther strains;
God, merciless
as the midday
sun, glares down
at his blocked servant.


From whence do these
supernal thoughts,
theological musings,
come flying?
A child of my time,
my elastic sweethearts,
phantasma of the mind,
less ecclesiastical than carnal,
my ark of the covenant hardly
Moses’ sacred sarcophagus.
The fault of the age
or the sinner?
Luther knew
and flew
to Worms and glory
on preordained wings
and the tower came tumbling down.


That aged and venerable reformer
bit into my spirit
like a mad dog.
I knelt in worship
before his evacuations,
moved by the mover;
all things are God’s,
even the dirt in a chalice.


Without pity
this unbending man lifted
every stone,
left no stone unturned,
and found, in the earth,
the living heart.
Beneath his turds,
most human offerings,
he found the true cross,
founded a church
more solid than the
unliving rock of Peter.


Hard German priest,
forced to pity,
he saw the flesh
for what it is.


Joined to God,
he stays with us still,
in all his faith,
with all his faults,
with all his mysteries.




Blonde she was
on the boulevard,
in moonlight,
in crescent of
golden hairs
white as Lear’s
under moonlight;
the old power
coming easy as
Paris faring
through the


The moon, flat
as a cookie,
sails higher;
wreaths of smoke
lie fallow in space.


But blonde on a
bicycle goes fast
and quiet;
the ripple of her
passing disturbs
all of us,
wandering on
the foreshore
of no adventure.


Home, Palinurus;
turn the rudder
and home.
No blondes heave to
in the moonlight;
your bed, empty
and wide
as a car,
awaits you.





Yes, even green
and wet with crushed grass
I love the black
nose of my dog, his walnut
of smelling, his flower
bones under the earth.




Jack D. Harvey’s poetry has appeared in Scrivener, Mind In Motion, Slow Dancer, The New Laurel Review, Bay Area Poets’ Coalition, The University of Texas Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, The Piedmont Journal of Poetry and a number of other poetry magazines over the years, many of which are probably kaput by now, given the high mortality rate of poetry magazines.

He has been writing poetry since he was sixteen. He lives in a small town near Albany, N.Y. and is retired from doing whatever he was doing before he retired.

These poems previously appeared in Former People, Bangs, Whimpers, Arts, Culture, and Commentary. They are reprinted with permission of the author.