Sphinx Beer

Copyright © 2010 Michael J Emerson

This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service.

OEDIPUS AND THE BIG APPLE (Part 3)


Listen: the bar is closed,

cold light splashes the outline

of sleeping tables on a sticky floor.

A woman now, as long as he was a man,

blind Tiresias strums a blues guitar,

strung with protons from a distant star.

He’s about to tell you who you are

with a voice tuned in to a rhythm divine.

listen, that plaintive howl is for you this time.


Sweating back leaves a slug trail

along a cold marble wall.

Bankrupt loins face a razor wire future.

Spear hand grasps at crashing air.

The searchlight’s sweep was slow and fair.

Frozen in a paparazzi glare,

a tragically overturned chair.

She is there above the alarmed floor

her body stiff and swinging,

stillness in her throat.

Trembling hands lift her down

and release her final warmth,

trapped beneath a silken thread

that weaved a fashionable disguise

before newly triumphant eyes.


The pin from her hair switches off the stare.

Clumsy fingers follow a maze of tiny cracks.

Vague drafts whisper new instructions.

The tongue that once knew a touch of silk

is cursed with the taste of mother’s milk.