Saint Augustine of Hippo w / David Kelly

This reading was recorded at Radio Ca’ Foscari at CFZ, Venice, Italy, on the 7th of May 2014. Thanks to the Project Manager Toni Fontana and Nicolò Groja at the mixer.

Read by Steven J. Fowler on 7 May 2014

Saint Augustine of Hippo w / David Kelly

-----------------------------------------------------------------------for l.d.

------------------Sloth poses as the love of peace
-----------------------------------------------------Saint Augustine

I must carry my thoughts
back to the abominable things I did in those days
the sins of the flesh which defiled my soul
I do this, L., not because I love those sins, but so that I may love you
for love of your love
I shall retrace my wickedness
the memory is bitter
as was the taste of human ear
the fleeting glance of a mongrel dog
as was the taste of the woman’s member
but it will help me to savour your sweetness
the sweetness that does not deceive
but brings real joy & never fails
for love of your love I shall retrieve myself from the havoc of disruption
which tore me to pieces
when I turned away from you*
whom I alone I should have sought
& lost myself instead
on many a different quest

-----------------------------*though I did not know you then & could nor have known you
-----------------------------still! salvation out of reach
-----------------------------is damnation at hand – I ate
-----------------------------who I ate, & let blood ripple from my chin like plasma



for maintenance of the critical spirit
that can say No and act without puncturing
the delicate membrane of its Yes

mine body – thou maketh me sad – mine soul
thou maketh me brave but alas I have no wings
no wings - thing - body stayed poor in childbirth
I weakened thee with my seede
now thou art weake
thou art supple
hast thou teeth? – bite onto the flesh of mine seede
seest her nosebleed? how crimson runs

now that it has come to close
my boyish confidence
has been replaced
by a man’s cruetly
the endless quality

from Enemies: the selected poems of SJ Fowler (London: Penned in the Margins, 2013).

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