Rainer Maria Rilke

R
Rainer Maria Rilke
Plaster Cast Torso of Apollo
We can infer his long since looted head
with eyes like curated hail. And that his chest
is still benumbed by empire from above,
as if a morgue, in his glare, now canonized,

fires an arctic solstice. Otherwise, the pocked tits
could not oppress you, and Victory
would not grin through smug ligaments
to reach that sperm hive where priapism lived.
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Song of the Dwarf
Maybe my soul is straight and good,
but she’s got to lug my heart, my blood,
which all hurts because it’s crooked;
its weight sends her staggering.
She has no bed, she has no home,
she merely hangs on my sharp bones,
flapping her terrible wings.

And my hands are completely shot,
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The Beggars
You didn't know
what was in the heap. A visitor found
it to contain beggars. They sell the hollow
of their hands.

They show the sightseer
their mouths full of filth,
and let him (he can afford it) peer
at the mange eating away at them.
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Day in Autumn
After the summer's yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.

Whoever's homeless now, will build no shelter;
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Song of the Little Cripple at the Street Corner
Maybe my soul’s all right.
But my body’s all wrong,
All bent and twisted,
All this that hurts me so.

My soul keeps trying, trying
To straighten my body up.
It hangs on my skeleton, frantic,
Flapping its terrified wings.
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