Beat Persistence

I shredded thirty paper years
to a bland and joyless confetti.

Once knuckles-deep 
in the chasm of Howl,

forgotten there my wrinkled tips,
my soiled hands.

Moloch, then, was a god
of ugly demands

and I, for which shit was Shinola
parted the lids of his eyes for a look—

The shit changing to soil,
Shinola remaining Shinola.

(You can tell by the gloss
of a god-fearing turd.)

From the fringe
of his black and white cloak

waved his many hands;

a smiling and chubby

Namaste, father,
I said as I knelt.

Moloch is just as you left him.

Crow Hollow 19

John Berry

               The artist's space.

Murder Two, Winter 2015

Crow Hollow Books

About the poem:
Reading Howl again after 30 years reminded me how little has changed.  Finding its familiar 
black and white cover on the library shelves and the comfortable fury of youth in its pages 
carried me back from the temperance of wisdom and age.  The hunger of Moloch for innocence remains unsated and rarely refused.  

     A much longer poem in its original draft, I opened Beat Persistence thinking it well-suited for Crow Hollow.  While I rarely tinker obsessively with my work, I do inevitably revisit each 
poem, paring away as I do, purposefully discarding the original piece.  In the end, finding that just as with life, I am far happier with less.