Rhythms: The Primitive Who Never Became a Sacred Allegory

Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent. Credit; Richard Avedon, Photographer

by LJ Frank

the days were elusive

an Upper Paleolithic Man understood

self-esteem meant survival

unfathomable centuries after fire and crude tools arrived

he watched the others gather together

the palms of their hands faced the flame

there was no market to bear witness

to claims of ownership and pride  

no coins with human images

the darkness of the human trade dwelled

in the lesser light

of those whose minds were a waterless well;

and somewhere between regard and disregard   

humans drank the blood of each other’s wisdom

infused with ambiguous dogmas

as if warriors of another’s strength

only the technology changed over the centuries

to feed the insatiable appetite of conflict

and in-passing

nurture dies without an engorged breast for feeding

intellectual bestiality betrays distilled notions

for meanings inevitably dissipate


and fresh metaphors are created;

still the Primitive arrived

perhaps knowing existence is in the remembrance

but enshrouded in a memory lost

for no records were kept

and no oral traditions survived

tens of thousands of years dissolved

save the artifact of bones encased in molten rock

a fragmented necklace of thorns

placed on the skull

symbolic or not

for the body of the Primitive

was never to become a sacred allegory.