Today's poem is by Bryan D. Dietrich

Inscription for an Asylum

      What lack, the perimeter of our knowing,
      what taste, the purchase of that lapse,
      what guile, our denial of absence owing
      to minds that muster might from each perhaps.
           —Dr. Amadeus Arkham, 1921

The loons who run the halls here—ever ravished
by a moon that makes odd promises to wed them—
they come to me, and pray, and they are lavished
with my own hysteric offerings of bedlam.

This house was meant to loom a little larger
than the others down these streets of stucco crypts.
but all my neighbors—lunatic to barber—
accept this stuffy Superman, his rise and his eclipse,

as if he weren't the golden calf he is.
If Moses couldn't brave the face of Jealousy,
who are we to lend a God our eyes?
If all we ever see are but the buttocks of eternity,

if, when the law is handed down, all tablets
must break, if what some Hubble sees is a mistake
of taking, too patently, the blueprints
for a universe we'd rather frame than fake,

if even part of this is true and yet you let
proclaimed perfection in a red cape rule you,
something (sanity) there is that you forget:
Rest at the cost of another's rod can fool you.

Thus, the plaque that meets your eye upon the brace
beside this door—the motto that's inscribed here,
Doctor Arkham's only warning—should face
the faces yet within. If entering, beware.

Copyright © 2002 Bryan D. Dietrich All rights reserved
from Krypton Nights
Zoo Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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