The Poetry Project

"Herm" from Psychoanalysis and Poetry: The Future of a Delusion

Kelsa Trom


There is a plot of fertile land and is a woman draped in linen coming and is a divorcee a woman with her eyelids painted on.

You’ll know you are on the plot because of the herm because of a bust of a man whose eyes match your eyes atop a bland columnar rectangle looking in all directions at once. The herm is a beard and these days are fighting days these days the herm is all pubes. The herm is a grand piano. The herm is a worm.
There is land to be ploughed and woman its own harvest. There is the divorcee for whom things are rather violent, there are deals and contracts to place in the pubic curl of flat groined herm and when you do the herm will nod and moan in approval.

The herm is sunbleached, you will face its beard, you will be on your knees seeking a rectangle of shade.
You will have hands on account of your becoming, you will have a shell. Protagoras slept in a broken amphora just for the shade, and never asked of the land, What will you have on account of just laying there? What will you have on account of laying spreadeagle? The herm will punish you and ravish you in beard and chimes and chimes will whip

Some days the herm will let you get rough tip herm over splatter with red wine and laugh that’s ok, the herm likes vaudeville.

You’ll both forget about it lulled to sleep by fumes, fumes of paint or olive musk or spray cleaner. Uncertain fumes of various things you will do in your kitchen on your land, on the land.

Is it wry to call it punishment, when you say foolhardy I say dance anthem and suddenly you are dancing until bloody in the toes, toes like the divorcee, is that blood or wine, the herm has wet teeth the herm is bigger and then by day bleached again as though by a dentist, herm stands herm claims herm sounds a horn, and chimes will whip.