The true art of the curse is lost

Curse_tablet_BM_1934.11-5.1

The true art of the curse is lost
no takes the time anymore to scowl so deeply
it leaves a permanent furrow
spit three times and cross the street to avoid a shadow
and carry a grudge to the grave

no one bothers any more to cast malisons
into dark corners and forget them there
because to be lost is the truth
of the true art of the curse
that no one escapes

The true art of the curse is the room with dark corners
a pinch of tansy
reddened eyes from weeping
the secret grave the doll was buried in
and the stained bones

not slurs
imprecations
mere bad language

No

the true curse
splits one’s own tongue in twain
and cares not

 

 

Image: Curse tablet found in London, photo posted to Wikimedia and in the public domain. This artifact dates, reportedly, from ancient Roman times (between 1 and 399 AD). The inscription, as translated for the British Museum, reads: “I curse Tretia Maria and her life and mind and memory and liver and lungs mixed up together, and her words, thoughts and memory; thus may she be unable to speak what things are concealed, nor be able.”

According to Wikipedia, a sometimes reliable source: “A curse tablet (Latin: tabella defixionis, defixio; Greek: κατάδεσμος katadesmos) is a small tablet with a curse written on it from the Greco-Roman world. The tablets were used to ask the gods, place spirits, or the deceased to perform an action on a person or object, or otherwise compel the subject of the curse.”

Another one for National Poetry Writing Month.

4 thoughts on “The true art of the curse is lost

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