Sol Invictus

My cold, bare arms, my ragged throat
  Have never summoned you before --
I know, much more, the light no longer
  Holds the tinder that can burn in me.

But for the sake of midnight, sun,


Sol Invictus, epithet of gall!
Fire-eyed Napoleon, unconquerable:


Thy lips of vital fire, strike into me thy revelation:
"Virtue alone is sure!"

But dark is a virtue, oh my beloved,
  For it wants to end.
Sorrow is virtue,
  For it wants to end.
Jealousy and Anger, those two sallow sisters, too,
  Beneath their shifts are naked virtue,
    For they want to end.

Only Hatred,
Hatred and Pride,
  Feed on themselves -- Ouroboros of vice!
    Two circled snakes, a disc of lost eternity.

And now?

'Tis midnight, oh my love, and in the dark
  All pride will waste and wither,
  Hatred, even, needs the light.

Listen close, thou molten resurrection stone:

The morbid hollow of the night,
And cannot cry, but whimpers:

"Oh thou sun, thou long forgot eternity --




(Photo by schaaflicht)


Caniad said...

I love the alliteration -- effective, without being self-conscious.

Jason Gignac said...

Thank you. Alliteration feels more basic, closer to the bone, I guess, than rhyming to me, the way I would like prayer to feel. It doesn't feel that way, but I'd like it to. Thank goodness for being able to write poems.

Caniad said...

Well, it seems like prayer, with its rhythm and repetition, is really like another form of poetry. I'm thinking more of those ancient, traditional prayers, of course, not the modern stuff of TV evangelists.

John Michael Cummings said...

re: book review request by award-winning author

Dear Moored at Sea:

I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out last month.
Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about
adolescence published by West Virginia University Press.

All the stories in my collection have been previously published in
well-regarded print and online literary magazines such as The Iowa
Review, Passager, The Bitter Oleander, Confrontation, Salt River
Review, The Foliate Oak. and The Cortland Review.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:


My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


John Michael Cummings

Chris said...

Its rude to Spam in the comments Mr. Cummings...but having said that, Oh Jase, I love your poetry so. damn. much. I really do hope that one day a book of your poetry exists in this world!

Jason Gignac said...

Ms Canaiad -

That's one of the reasons I'd love to learn Hebrew - to see how the Psalms, for example, really sound. Its also why I read King James Bible when I read the bible. God is one of the only opportunities to be poetic on a day to day basis!

Mr. Cummings - Thank you, but no thank you.

Mr Chris - thats very kind of you. I may hire you as my bouncer in the future... ;)