Dan Beachy-Quick—​Theseus's Ship

//Dan Beachy-Quick—​Theseus's Ship

Dan Beachy-Quick—​Theseus's Ship

Dan Beachy-Quick

Theseus’s Ship

​The wind blows many things off course.
A strong gust tears the winnowed husk in two
Carries the chaff in different directions
One inland and one out to sea.
But different versions mostly end the same.
This story is about a man and a ship.
In Delos he danced a dance the youth still dance.
An imitation of the labyrinth.
The youth still call the dance The Crane.
To dance this dance yourself
Cut from the left side of the head some horns.
Build an altar. It’s called the Keraton.
Kerata means “horns.” Find a rhythm.
Convolute it. Involute it. Now the dance is done
But the altar remains.
Even when the ship leaves the altar remains.
Sometimes the dance. Often the wind.
 
*
 
The thirty-oared galley in which he sailed
Youth to safety they preserved through time.
They took away a timber from time to
Time put it in a pile
They replaced it with a new plank.
Centuries passed and the boat grew younger.
In a thousand years it became new.
Clever or bored some youth looked at the pile
Of old timber and fitting board to board
Built the ship again. They stand side by side
On the long grass the wind blows like waves
When it blows it blows like waves the grass.
Poets and philosophers like to argue
About which ship is Theseus’s ship
While the grass rises in swells about their ankles.
 
*
 
The thirty-oared galley in which he sailed
Youth to safety they preserved through time.
They took away a timber from time to
Time put it in a pile
They replaced it with a new plank.
Centuries passed and the boat grew younger.
In a thousand years it became new.
Clever or bored some youth looked at the pile
Of old timber and fitting board to board
Built the ship again. They stand side by side
On the long grass the wind blows like waves
When it blows it blows like waves the grass.
Poets and philosophers like to argue
About which ship is Theseus’s ship
While the grass rises in swells about their ankles.
 
*
 
Kerata
 
This version blows the labyrinth out to sea.
A strong wind carries the crane off course.
Sometimes one finds the dance winnows the chaff
But mostly yourself remains. A different imitation
Means a different dance, but the rhythm in the head
Calls in the same directions: convolute, involute,
Dance. The youth build the altar. The gust leaves the husk.
And the dance still remains an altar to the tears
A man cut from his side. The youth called the horns “horns.”
Many danced this dance when the wind left. Still it is
The story of one ship and some altar: Delos, the Keraton.
Of dance? Often it is about an end. Even now it’s done.

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of gentlessness (Tupelo Press) and Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs (Omnidawn). He is a Monfort Professor at Colorado State University, where he teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program, and is a current Guggenheim Fellow.



























































By |2018-12-05T15:23:35+00:00December 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: