As in a Dim Scriptorium


—As if always 
in some dim scriptorium, with inkhorn’s

ear wax & honey & piss

pigment to ornament with gold 
the flesh side of outspread vellum.

As if scrambling always to catch

up with a cantors syntax, inflection 
in Latin vowels of gospel & psalm

till my wrist & palm spasm & ribs

cramp my lungs when I lean 
to scribble before those inviolable

syllables dissolve into air like my every

breath-fume over the restless quill 
as its nib punctures again

the ice-crust of crystal reforming on the inkwell— 

attend, conscripted

& ever-distracted

monk-scribe: What 
is the Kingdom of God like?

And whatever Ive misheard or already 
forgotten, reglazing with gold my own marginal gloss,

thumps hail-dull around me:

In parables … the man goes in with his sickle … 
like a treasure buried in a field … like a woman with yeast …


What is the Kingdom of God like? Like

(go in with your sickle) 
a dim scriptorium

where many-written & half-heard words 
are mouthed beyond all attention, 
swan quill stilled, dripping with gall & lampblack

ink. As if there were permissible 
transcriptions of inattention,

missals riddled with elisions

to mark them aside (as if 
in wax & urine & honey’s

gold emblazing)

as unscriptable & dumbfounded: twice-blessed.