icarus

 

I should have fashioned a giant paper airplane

or hitched a ride on the back of a kite

or swung a rope over a pelican,

if I could just crouch small enough

to wrap my arms around his neck

instead of choosing Icarus with all of his

doomed plans, wax and dreaming.

 

Icarus looks over his shoulder at me, frantically

reapplying wax as sweat runs down his face,

and grins, sure that all errors are forgivable.

Jealous pelicans and seagulls will not peck us

into the ocean where great fish, extinct for centuries now,

simply laugh at us for raising ourselves above them,

for not recognizing how sensible the ocean is

and sure footed land is with its trails and trees

hanging with fruit that the winged ones,

foolish in their endless circling and diving

often miss in their aim or far too greedy grasping.

 

 

 1.

 

How to measure the fall of Icarus

how to prove Daedalus said

Don’t not perhaps….

 

The daughters of the king of Sicily

will remember only after Icarus:

will remember only

 

Daedalus laughs often.

 

2.

 

Imagine the boy’s surprise

discovering nothing binds him

to his father—

 

not wax, not faith.

Imagine his wail as

the distance between

 

sun and father

son and earth

crescendos.

 

3.

 

It was after all only a dance…

 

4.

 

Icarus peels from the sky

easy as rind.

The indifferent sun is and is.

 

5.

 

Daedalus has a long life in Sicily.

He builds new wings for the king’s daughters.

They dance the sky, Daedalus

 

shouts: Beware!

Do not go too far over the sea!

 

6.

 

Easy as taking off a glove

easy as loose change

Icarus falls

 

past shoulder

past hip

past knee.

 

Daedalus resists the urge

to fly faster.

 

7.

 

Afterwards the sea looks the same.

 

 

Contributor’s Notes: Paulette’s work has previously appeared in Crab Orchard ReviewProvincetown Arts, and Rhino. She has published two chapbooks. Blues for a Pretty Girl is available on Amazon and Voice Lessons is available at Plan B Press. You can find her at www.thehomebeete.com.

Really, Daedalus? Feathers and wax?

You have to be the thickest brick
in the entire Athenian tool shed,
to think a few melted Yankee Candles
and the feathers out of a bunch of pillows
would make suitable raw materials
for homemade, single person aircraft.

Did you, like, not have the internet
or something?

My testicle is more intelligent than you.
The stuff I blow into a Kleenex
makes more sense than you.

Daedalus, you old, incestuous,
boneheaded douchenozzle,
did you even weigh your son
before telling him it was time
to impersonate a chicken mascot
over the Greek Ocean’s waves?

That must be why your parents
called you Daedalus; they were afraid
that out of your amazing stupidity,
you would make your own son dead one day.

You probably didn’t even go through
an oral phase when you were a baby.

Jesus Christ, Daedalus, your son is dead
because you couldn’t be bothered
to do some homework and read up
on what the Wright Brothers did.

Did you tell Icarus that if he ate
Pop Rocks and soda at the same time
he’d grow big and strong, too?

Boeing would so never hire you, dude.

.

Visit Boucher’s audio poetry Web site. Boucher is a hub page editor of Albuquerque’s Local Poets Guild.