Pavane for a cyber princ.., p.1
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       Pavane for a Cyber-Princess, p.1
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           Bruce Boston
Pavane for a Cyber-Princess



  A Talisman Ebook

  First Edition: Miniature Sun Press

  Copyright © 2001 by Bruce Boston

  First Ebook Edition: 2011

  ISBN: 978-1-4657-6283-2


  Pavane for a Cyber-Princess


  Her exquisite cadaver

  rises from a laboratory table,

  the fascia of her reconstructed spine

  arching in a sensuous circumflex

  that could pique the interest

  of the most jaded lover.

  Letters with hooks and eyelets

  scavenged from ancient alphabets

  (and their venerable antecedents)

  have been tethered and sutured

  in the enlarged crystalline

  lattice of her cerebrum.

  The speckled rind of her integument

  has been scrubbed clean by nanosolvents.

  Internal organs justified with a vengeance.

  Her veins are irrigated by purified waters

  siphoned through shifting strictures

  punched in the face of Time

  to the canals of mid-millennial Venice,

  city of divine flagellants,

  ex cathedra of long fevers and catered lusts.

  She lusters like satin spar alabaster.

  She glows with the deep and deceptive

  warmth of heirloom Tiffany porcelain.

  She glistens like the salt-wave-scoured

  nacre of a rare chambered nautilus

  washed ashore in the glaucous twilight

  of a once-remembered alien dusk.

  "Alien" as in "not of this world."

  "Ancient" as in "Cyrillic, runic, demotic Greek."

  "Venerable" as in "cuneiform and linear A."

  "Long" as in "poisoning an entire life."

  "Mid-millennial" as in "1500 Anno Domini

  and the Borgian decades that surround it."


  The architects of her soft hardware

  have curried her with a curious air:

  the archetypal and breathless "O"

  of a late and eagerly awaited arrival

  charmed by the applause of the masses.

  It matters little what she says,

  only that she speaks.

  Even once her motion has ceased

  her synthetic locks continue

  to billow with a life of their own.

  Her barely concealed corporal locks

  could decimate the pride

  of the most pampered feline.

  A rag, a sloe-sullen glance,

  a flank of flesh-sheathed bone,

  have made a comeback at her behest.

  A well-tapered heel is de rigueur.

  Fashion, of all spent things,

  remains her subject and eminent domain.

  She is the recurring imago

  of an adolescent male libido at play.

  Her smoothly chiseled features

  (or countless simulacra thereof)

  will forever launch and dry-dock

  an armada of copious dreams.

  "De rigueur" as in "deforming the instep."

  "Spent" as in "utterly wasted."

  "Corporal" as in "mons veneris."

  "Architects" as in "gene-choppers."

  "Most pampered" as in "combed and petted

  to the ends of trembling distraction."


  All of her changes have

  been planned and wrought

  for the one who has primed

  her heart's acceleration

  and braced her vulnerable soul

  for the torrent's hard renewal.

  She bows down before her master,

  deliquescent as an ingénue,

  one "I" turned inward

  to the tiny circus (circuits) in her head:

  limber aerialists and burning lions,

  sword-swallowers and fearsome freaks,

  electronic pulses that dart like fish.

  His image reflected back

  from her faux-fawn-startled eyes

  offers him all the bent things

  the henchmen of his infamous empire

  have never been able to fathom.

  By striding into the furnace wind

  of his perverse and varied fantasies

  she has cultured three beautiful screams:

  poetic, heriatic, incantatory.

  By bending in every direction

  his rogue heart can imagine

  she has gained the glacial poise

  and objectivity of a marathon assassin

  whose contract is desire's death

  over and over again.

  Still he strays from the archives

  of her seductive artistry

  with an obsessive constancy

  more often than she anticipates.

  Still he departs on corporate raids

  to forests and fields of exploitation

  beneath the skies of the Southern Cross.

  (where it is rumored he has gathered

  a strange cast of obsequious jackals

  with whom he savors astral phenomena

  and cavorts beneath the midnight sun).

  "Astral" as in "aurora australis."

  "Henchmen" as in "chief executive officers."

  "Deliquescent" as in "melting at a touch."

  "Incantatory" as in "ritual oblations."

  "Fearsome" as in "the Janus-headed boy

  with the cloven hooves of a goat."


  His exploits are whisper-myth

  among the swirl of faceless servants

  whose presence decants her days

  and descants her solitary evenings

  like a (clearly) veiled allusion

  to her own voluntary servitude.

  Her latest-foremost rival

  for the pulse of his attentions,

  a creature of deft derangements

  and a lineage to match her own,

  envies her for her taste in clothes.

  She can smell the sharp after-tang

  of artfully enhanced pheromones

  in the no-longer-sacred sanctum

  of her specular closets.

  And then there is the Aphid Woman

  (if "woman" you could call her:

  furtive, speechless, naked as an insect)

  he has rescued from the blasted temple

  of some off-world excavation

  and mounted on a spinning carousel

  in the otherwise bare foyer

  of their lunar manse.

  "Blasted" as in "dwelling with the damned."

  "Latest" as in "untimely to be sure."

  "Foremost" as in "soon to supersede."

  "Spinning" as in "revealing every

  scabrous inch of her larval obscenity."

  "Faceless" as in "the carillon (carrion)

  that carries vespers kicking

  and mewling into the maw of night."


  Champagne brunch on a lawn of thorns.

  Side of calf dressed for the altar.

  Tiny appetizers squirming in her palms.

  Identities that shift without warning.

  Tender abrasions on her third incisor.

  A sense of impending orchestration.

  Blonde-naked before the Queen's regalia.

  Her mother's indignant high retort.

  Lingua franca cured in brine.

  An epee that needs no introduction.

  Vertiginous descent to an unnamed circle.

  The first terrazzo she has ever pranced.

Folding maps with conflicted directions.

  Subaqueous chase through the catacombs.

  By far too late to save the burning chattel.

  Suffering a curt (covert) ancestral caress.

  Silenced at the moment of vindication.

  Phalange of incomprehensible levers

  rising from the caul of a suckling moon.


  When his nocturnal peregrinations

  have slipped dawn's coverlet,

  when the pillow's creases have left

  a transient cicatrix on her stolen cheeks,

  she cannot decide whether to take

  her coffee black or thick with cream.

  What oracular conceit could have

  revealed her trumped expectations?

  Which sword or cup could have forecast

  the surfeit of his infantile greed?

  Or surmised that the smoke

  from his legendary panatelas

  would leave its carcinogenic stench

  on the walls, the damask draperies,

  in the lapsing shallows of her breath?

  Like a freight that pierces the eye

  of the tunnel that hollows the hillside

  of her wish and fear fulfillments,

  the riot of her consciousness erupts

  without braking on the farther side

  (unleashing a Pandora's boxcar

  of decadent ontological curiosities

  that take flight across the heavens

  to further darken mourning skies).

  "Curiosities" as in "antiquated."

  "Freight" as in "the baggage she totes."

  "Carcinogenic" as in "rabid proliferation."

  "Elusive" as in "illusion, elision, elusus."

  "Stolen" as in "possession is nine-tenths

  of whatever law contains the mind."


  The last time he deigns to visit

  the palatial enclosure of her chambers

  (to harvest the silk of her body

  and pace the cordons of her flesh

  like an appraiser estimating a sale),

  she releases her antlered teeth and nails

  in a fury of blood-bone chiaroscuro

  that leaves his handsome torso

  wracked and scarred for this life

  and several more to come.

  The pastilles that crumble-dissolve

  in the wet silence of her ample mouth

  create scattershot impressions

  of her trashed personae,

  phantom mirror shards that can

  only be trusted deeply as they sever,

  purely as they pale her lengthening paean,

  slowly or swiftly as they are borne to fade.

  The somnolents she has chosen

  will allow her to sleep for centuries

  without aging a New World second.

  Sleep the sleep of a vacuous embrace

  (breathing and feeding tubes in place)

  until the variable spawn of the ages

  serves her up from Morpheus

  into the arms of a verifiable prince.

  One who will shower her blank visage

  with a storm of kisses so very gentle

  they could break a clenched fist.

  "Clenched" as in "knuckles white as bone."

  "Storm" as in "scale the battlements."

  "Morpheus" as in "Death's favorite nephew."

  "Spawn" as in "leaping the rapids to mate."

  "Scattershot" as in "the stuttering light

  of memory's inconstant strobe."

  "Battlements" as in "the fortress of her body."

  "Borgian" as in "Cesare and Lucrezia."

  "Carrion" as in "fare for scavengers."

  "Maw" as in "the gullet of dreams."

  "Janus-headed" as in "knows the score

  before the hands are splayed."

  Bruce Boston lives in Ocala, Florida, once known as the City of Trees, with his wife, writer-artist Marge Simon, and the ghosts of two cats. He is the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His poetry and fiction have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Asimov's SF Magazine, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and The Nebula Awards Showcase. One of the leading genre poets for more than a quarter century, Boston has won the Bram Stoker Award for Poetry, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Rhysling Award, each a record number of times. He has also received a Pushcart Prize for Fiction and the Grandmaster Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association.

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