In the Gaze of Quasimodo. by Alan Britt


In the gaze of the priest, the cat-o’-nine-tails
graced the back of Quasimodo.

Slicing glaciers into his flesh.

In the gaze of the priest, between the sweet lips
of the king,
blood like fruit trickled
down a tapestry of fools.

Held fast in the beams of the priest’s gaze,
Quasimodo glanced up from his kneeling chains,
& in that instant true power eluded
the feeble tissue of his brain.

True power sank below the surface of his eyes
& never mingled with the blood, his blood
that bypassed neurons cowering in darkness.

At the moment of his gaze, at the very moment
the hunchback’s gaze entwined like steel vines
around rays of dull light that leaked from the priest’s
eyes, at that moment Quasimodo held the seat
of true power, if only he understood.

A Christ chained amidst debris of rotten fruit
thrown by peasants who celebrated authority,
this bell ringer robbed of dignity & imprisoned
behind the metaphysical bars of wisdom!


Preferring to "lean and loafe at his ease," Alan Britt is troubled by the corruption and ambivalence that permeates the Great Experiment, so politically speaking he has started the Commonsense Party, which ironically to some sounds radical. He believes the US should stop invading other countries to relieve them of their natural resources including tin, copper, bananas, diamonds, and oil, also that it’s time to eliminate corporate entitlements and reduce military spending in order to properly educate its citizenry, thereby reducing crime and strengthening the populace in the manner that the Constitution envisioned.

He is quite fond of animals both wild and domestic and supports prosecuting animal abusers. As a member of PETA, he is disgusted by factory farming and decorative fur.

In August 2015 Alan was invited to Ecuador as part of a cultural exchange of poets between that nation and the United States. In 2018 and again in 2013, he served as judge for the the Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award. He has been interviewed at the Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem and has published 16 books of poetry, his latest being Crossing the Walt Whitman Bridge (bilingual English/Romanian): 2017; Violin Smoke (translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published in Romania: 2015). He teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University.