I like the way mutiny rebels against sense
By sounding as elegant as a chorus
Of bodies jumping ship, though of course,
They leap by sword.
Revolt doesn’t have mutiny’s music—it’s coarse,
Like cocking a gun or being seasick.
Mutiny is birdsong, mu-tin-y,
Sound shipmate to another phrase I love
The complication of: ethical anarchy.
Ethical, with its surgically Greek precision,
Anarchy of the ancient & landed, epic & thuggish,
Though in the course
Of ordinary usage both are dangerously ambiguous
Or rather ambiguously dangerous
(like both in the last stanza).
I like how sexy language is, the intercourse
Of grunt & idea, & you don’t have to know
What you’re saying to say something,
Or maybe I like how dangerous that is.
In one hand Prometheus offers fire
& in the other disease, & of course,
We take both.
© 2007 University of North Carolina Greensboro