I went down, as I had resolved to do,
to the house where the preachers preyed.
‘You who know should help me,’
were the words I used, and said:
‘Arachidi, Pinda’s, Cacahuetes, Erdnüsse’
Twenty-five years after Joan of Arc fried
Rouen’s city fathers said she shouldn’t have died.
— They apologised;
— They agonised;
— Their more poetic eulogised.
But still, butt-still, she lay,
a little lump: unleavened clay.
She couldn’t sue. Her suet gray
had melted clear and cleared away.
(Joan of Arc and I both occasionally visited Rouen for our work. Hers had not only obviously more impact but also, so far, more definite termination. Each time that I am in Rouen, I think of her, and of the savageries we ascribe to religion, and I sing this little song for her.)
Jeanne d’Arc was published in Issue 14, Summer/Fall 2000 of The Armchair Aesthete.