“Don’t leave me hanging in a city so dead…”

Sometimes gargoyles are so high up—in this case, nearly 200 feet—that few people see them, and nobody hears them. Alas.

On either side the arches fly,
The buttress-blocks that half-imply
A sort of creamy stonework thigh,
And thro’ the calf and knee-crook high
Soar carven brutes profuse; a
Docent notes them, up and down,
Pent-up pilgrims crane and frown
’Neath the nag of no renown,
The southwest-tower Medusa.

A tourist twirls, a ballerina
Sensing o’er her Neutrogena
Grills that send a scent subpoena
From a cactus-themed cantina,
Corn-and-meat pupusa;
Bus-groups pained by prickly towers
Overlooking Gothic powers
Seek instead tequila sours
Ere southwest-tower Medusa.

Still, she sneers by day and night,
A myth amasked in aspish fright,
Damning each commercial flight,
Heedless of the blear and blight
She blusters to induce; a-
Ware of what her curse may be,
Alone she seetheth steadily,
Spitting on the bourgeoisie,
The southwest-tower Medusa.

And, skirting ’round her mirror’s haze,
Limestone saints avert their gaze,
Lest a glance condone her craze:
A kraken kind she howls to raise
To shake her prison loose; a
Waste, when distant dumpsters crash,
Reaping reams of beer-dark trash.
She hath no hope for titans’ clash,
The southwest-tower Medusa.

Like a queen of ninth-grade spites
Brooding on imagined slights,
Texting vapid acolytes,
Curls a-twirl through tween-dazed nights,
She taps jejune abuse; a
Tome she scans with deep’ning dread;
No sandaled Zeus-brat hunts her head.
“I am half sick of Bulfinch,” said
The southwest-tower Medusa.

She’s left to wail, she’s left to loom,
She sets her face to scowl and fume,
She sees the horrid garden bloom,
She sees no glad, galumphing groom
To suffer and seduce; a-
Las, no roof-beam waits to rise,
Nor any man half Ares’ size.
“No curse has come upon me!” cries
The southwest-tower Medusa.

There is no river, chain, nor boat,
No pithy rhyme for profs to quote,
No knight to heed her final note;
For her, no verse will e’er be wrote
By laureates obtuse; a
Captive crone, denied release,
She envies maids whose poems cease.
No tender curse can promise peace
To southwest-tower Medusa.

No one wonders, “What is here?”
High above, some starry sphere
Screeches thro’ another year;
Now the dusk-light drowns in drear
And failing, fades to fuchsia;
For no one mused a little space,
And no one praised her fang-bit face,
And none of flesh will e’er embrace
The southwest-tower Medusa.

(For all the entries in this series, hit the “looking up” tag.)

5 thoughts on ““Don’t leave me hanging in a city so dead…”

  1. Very interesting gargoyle…mirror or hairbrush in her left hand? She could be Gollum’s baby sister…

    Great poem, especially enjoyed –

    “Like a queen of ninth-grade spites”

    “And no one praised her fang-bit face”


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