To seduce Hasnant Khan from his languor
Of Islamic calm, so he'd pretend Diana
His silk-skinned camel, no candle in the wind
Except for a glistening ornamental tuft,
Wick to her deadly, yet exquisite Sahara,
For the long haul, for burning on and on
Without pausing for water or a crumb,
She went to him in nothing but sapphire
And diamond earrings, and her silver fur,
A lynx oiled with sandalwood so that shed
Hair retained the sullen aroma which signifies
Mindless abandon, mindless allure, and Khan,
A heart surgeon, made skillful love to her,
Tense and melting, but otherwise demurred.
Kenneth Rosen's first collection, Whole Horse, was selected by Richard Howard for the Braziller Poetry Series in 1970. Kenneth was living with his family in the village of Steep, England outside of Petersfield, Hants, under the auspices of the late British novelist, Penelope Mortimer, of The Pumpkin Eater fame, made into a motion picture starring Kenneth's favorite actor, James Mason, though Kenneth especially relishes Mason as Humbert Humbert in Kubrick's Lolita. Kenneth's sixth collection of poetry, The Origins of Tragedy is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Recent poems have appeared in Paris Review, Marlboro Review, and River City. Kenneth has lived since 1966 in Portland, Maine and environs, where he is off and on a professor at the University of Southern Maine. He is recently returned from three weeks as a Fulbright professor in Egypt, and is en route to Ankara, Turkey where he will be a guest lecturer at the Middle Eastern Technical University, culminating his visit with a paper on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness at METU's 10th Annual Joseph Conrad Seminar, and explain the incessant aporia at the heart of darkness as a site of freedom and of course horror.