Friday, November 11, 2016

NO HEAD OF GILLES DE RAIS


He has absolutely no skill in defending himself. He moves about violently from one impulse to another, which destroys him.

I insist: this is a child.

But this child had at his disposal a fortune that appeared inexhaustible to him and nearly absolute power.
                                    --Georges Bataille, The Trial of Gilles de Rais


We will never see the satanic head or eye
of Gilles de Rais made fabulous in paint
or marble. All facets of his dream-world—
voraciously prismatic—are kept in the book of tortures

with the vile bon-bons of his fancy
that fell from his brain, to pulsate on his tongue,
wherever chapel boys swelled with song,
in Champtocé, La Suze, Tiffauges, Machecoul.

Gilles derived from a long line
of war-lords
and rabbit-faced prodigies.

At his trial at Nantes he doubted not
to be convicted, then burnt, by temporal authorities;
but nor to be forgiven by the Church,
which owed him much
& whose children he had raped and devoured
rejoicing
wherever chapel boys swelled with song,

in Champtocé, La Suze, Tiffauges, Machecoul.