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Please read my essay "The Celestial Birdman of the Ancient World" at Read and react.


“Bird spirit flew into Apollo—
animal spirit appeared in Dis.
What was sky and earth became life and death,
or hell on earth and psychic depth,
and I wonder: how has Hades been affected by Dachau?
In the cold of deepest bowels, does a stained
fluid drip? Does pure loss now have an odor
of cremation, a fleshy hollow feel
of human soul infiltrating those realms
Hades had reserved for animals?
Are there archai, still spotted with
this evening’s russets, stringing and quartering
an anthrobestial compost? Or are there zeros,
of which we are increasingly composed,
folding out the quick of animal life?
Is that why these outlines, these Hadic kin,
take on mountainous strength,
moving through the shadows of these days?”

Poet Clayton Eschleman, Hades In Manganese (Santa Barbara, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1981)

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