Connor Marvin



How do you keep Hope alive

when the whole world has become

a corpse? Parzival says to the Fisher King.

The Fisher King, wounded in his cock,

says, unhealed, become likewise a corpse.

You’re asking the wrong Question.

The emerald that fell from the third-eye of Lucifer

when he was cast out of heaven enters the room

carried by a goddess.

Or: the goddess enters the room holding


We must make a mask for Her

so we are not annihilated by Her presence.

Then the lance enters the room, carried

by a page. Or: this page is bleeding. The

lance bleeds from its tip. Why is the lance still bleeding?

The Lance of Longinus

that pierced the side of Christ on the Cross.

When it was pulled out from His side,

blood and water spilled from the cosmic wound.

Or: a goddess escaped from His heart. SOPHIA.

Or: the Grail caught the blood and water.

MARIA the Grail, the Holy Spirit enters her

and gives birth to god. Grail the Heart,

the Spirit enters Parzival’s Heart and gives virgin birth.

What is an infinite corpse but a landscape?

A delicate dance of putrefaction and growth.

Expansive, sprawling.

The lance also ruined Amfortas, the King.

The King rules only by the love of the Goddess of Sovereignty.

Her love is gone, so he rots alive.

He is the unregenerate Christ, unable to resurrect,

forever mortified, excruciated.

Christ forgave Longinus, but he never forgave himself.

Christ forgave us, but we never forgave ourselves.

The lance is hidden here, deep in the shadow

what humanity wishes to forget.

God came to earth once and we

tortured Him to death.

Why is the lance still bleeding?

You’re getting closer.

Is god beautiful?


If beauty is not inherent, and god is beautiful,

do we then make god when we perceive beauty?

When we find something beautiful?

Did god make us specifically to create more of

Himself? By finding?

God is love. Love is lonely because

it can only exist between things.

Whom does the Grail serve?

Everyone. You’re asking the wrong Questions.

What’s wrong?

A key turns in a lock, a nebula opens.

Galaxies make brutal love,

give ecstatic birth.

The viewer is here to facilitate the discharge

of Beauty.


Power and terror.

We have felt power a bad word.

After all, I am you and what I see is me.

After all, in most Grail myths

the Knight disappears from the world

after drinking Beauty, or spends his days

a mystic hermit devoted to god.

And what kind of power is that?

What a boring movie.

We’d rather scream at the bleeding lance,

you, it’s your fault, you killed god,

we could all line up facing eachother

and call the other our own shadow, like a giant

conveyor belt. Nobody wants to be a giant.

Once you’re visible, they’ll throw stones.

They’ll nail you to a cross.

Or: everybody wants to be a giant, but nobody

wants to be god. No one wants to find Beauty

in everything anymore. It’s either weakness

or privilege, depending on who you ask.

Whom does the Grail serve?


Beauty and Terror, what

a proposition. The blade inside

the tourniquet. The sutures inside

the bullet.


The author walks in carrying

T.S. Elliott’s liver in his teeth.

Checkmate. King me.

Wrap my guilt in god, my gold in

azurine. I can’t stop thinking about

the curve, the mathematics of sacrifice.

A ruby jawbone lies on the floor.

A silicone jellyfish in the Temple of Solomon.

Post-digital decay mechanism. I can’t stop

my heart from swinging. Giggling like

a sacred curve of childhood suspended

from an oak tree. A leap into the gap.

Look, I snuck out the back door.

The sun is shining and my blood with it.

Like a drunken golden fiddle,

mouthing a swarm of backwards kisses.

Right down the chimney.


It is winter and

three drops of blood on the snow.

Black crow pecking at the corpse

of a falcon. Everything in this reminds me of

her, my love, the Goddess, Her, what difference.

The delicate mixture of red holly,

black ivy, and white mistletoe. The fleshy

fruit with a stone or pit. I know what

is meant by this, stone pit, I too

have abandoned the mineshaft.

Everything reminds me of love in this moment,

the warm red melting the cold white

the shining black presiding. The heart

when the whole world has become a corpse

putrefies, blackens, ripens, becomes liquor, separates.

This is then calcined, or burned to a fine white ash.

Everything impure leaves with the smoke.

The ash begins to roil and seethe red as it is elevated

in volume and frequency. The spirits, liquor of the putrefied heart

are then recombined in the crucible, resurrecting the stone.

If an acorn is an oak tree, what then is a fruit?

I am your heart, says the Fisher King to Parzival,

who is wound up in staring at the Grail.

Three drops red of blood fall from the lance into the chalice.

Remember, the lance wounded the Fisher King.

The Grail is also the heart. The Castle is the heart.

Mary is the Heart giving birth to the Heart. The Wasteland

is the heart. Step back from the page, the earth is the heart.

The sun, the Father, Mother, is the heart. Look at the universe

spinning silently in this teardrop. Everything inside is the heart.

Step backwards infinitely and nothing can ever be found

that is not your heart.

Tell me, O King,

what is it that ails thee?


* Connor Marvin is a poet and devotee of the Arthurian tradition, known for his powerfully evocative slam poetry. He performs regularly at the Mercury Café in Denver, Colorado.