Felipe II offers Prince Fernando to Victory by Titian, c. 1572–1575

ontological paradoxes inscribe visions
Twombly’s cryptographic calligraphy
evoking mythic themes accentuated

by lyric eruptions of color
poetic inquiries that do
not bend to the mind’s

demands for conceptual clarity
anathema to academic dissection
Lepanto battle of induction

and deduction amidst a
conceptual sea of symbols
royal, military, and holy powers

flotsam and jetsam
fragile lives of men
afloat in moral ambiguity

Titian’s angel of victory
a melting wax figure
engulfed in a watery grave