As I Listened to “Gnossienne No. 3”

by Josh Pryer

Photo from Unsplash. Public Domain.


Four cord of wood, an axe,
The rain, and me –
It’s a familiar scene
I still don’t recognize.

The worn green rain-suit,
Leaking raindrops
Into the last warm places,
As insincere as a forehead kissed.

Each cold hand, in as much pain
Possible before the numbing,
Throbs, is the organ of
A glove full of sawdust.

Swinging axe, at first swung
With youthful vigor,
Slows with age
Into thrusts of swelling rage,

As relentless striking at the wood –
Works and Daze –
Teaches me something,
Nothing but distain.

Pausing to breathe, I ponder why
An impotent man without a virtue
Assumed a son in holy marriage,
Assumed the scepter…

Still I seek the man’s approval,
Long to hear a foreign tongue.
Me and I and the rain
Rage into the night,

And the breaking of wood not unlike
The sound of thunder,
That mocking silence,
Echoes eternally in my skull

As expressions of love are dammed by lips.



Josh Pryer (07/07/1993) is an American musician and poet. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles, CA, and is earning a degree in Comparative Literature.

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