Discourses

plato's discourses hung like
a yawning dog from the shelf
-awfully papered. there was little taste back then-
and the library
print was branded on the chipped pages

so the ghost
of plato would come back
from time-to-time (when we were
asleep usually). he would be
ill and angered raging like
the storm of hamlet's father or the
moving

van across the street. it hurt to be a bull
hurt in the labyrinth when every body has
the unerring urge to murder you or hurt
between the dumb raging eyes when

a well dressed archetype of hemingway's
stabbed a fatherly knife into your forehead

but plato
was a discourse now or fancy chinaware-
Augustine knew that in the
very beginning that all the ghosts of wisdom
were not wisdom
at all but ghost and digression and the shadow
of Theseus along the
bleeding hallways

sucking down the good wine.
sleeping underneath the ill-
smelling book like Bacchus after
a particularly dry night
of converting the good and desecrating

the bland african grave of
Augustine

but do not
ask plato's ghost about
any of this. it will
sneeze rafters of dust
and pungent from the
ancient world-

sputtering and scented disagreement at twelve-midnight
is heavy on the hand