Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My memory in other minds

a wedding
a ceremony
in an old mansion
a huge bar
hundreds of people
shifting between why
at times
I am working
getting people drinks
taking care of food
other times
everyone is there
to celebrate
an event related to me
it is late
one more round of drinks
for everyone
guests returning
after having departed
for other events
the light is golden
amber memory
infused each moment
old friends
I haven't seen in years
like moths
to a flame
blood in the pit
are slowly walking
in from the darkness
we are cleaning up
last call
in the Gardens of the West
I am on the microphone
giving thanks
to all those guests
who have come from so far
who have attended the ceremony
more drinks
the night will go on
into morning hours
reopening the cabinets of drink
the mood is somber
it is a last night
no one wants
to wake up tomorrow
as long as we keep drinking tonight
we won't have to
I am sober
amidst the reclining groups
those milling
sitting on the floor
some slowly dancing
alone and with another
distant music
as if from across a lake
on a summer night
am I being called forth
I want to say a final farewell
on the microphone
but know it doesn't matter
the music
is ethereal
that last sad quartet
on the deck of a sinking ship
I am amongst the dead
going through the
meaningless motions
of the role I played in life
a ghost
my own wake
my memory
in other minds
sustaining my presence here

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The other woman ghostly at the table

at a lake in Texas with JGM
storms over the last few days
one approaching
we are preparing something
others are here
a family with several teenaged girls
one has gone missing
I am working to fold up
a large tarp or blanket
before the rain
the wind is ripping it around
and the lake is choppy
waves washing up
onto the pier
where I am standing
JGM takes off into the woods
looking for the young girl
after a time
I worry about here
I watch through the trees
for sign of her
the skies are darkening
cold heavy drops of rain
are falling
I can see her
coming through the leaves
under the thick trees
along the shoreline
she says
I found something weird
all the weeds in the garden
have holes bored into their centers
and poison has been dripped
into the holes
I know
the father is the one who has done this
and he is the one
who has raped and killed
his own daughter
buried her out in the woods
JGM is sitting at a table
on the pier with me
I tell her
a long time ago
I knew one of the daughters
and she told me he had raped her
JGM's eyes widen with horror and shock
then I see the father
rising up from behind her
he has heard everything
now there is another woman
at the table next to JGM
the father is walking
towards us like an automaton
his face in a frozen rictus of rage
hands and fingers out-stretched
JGM sees the fear in my face
and turns
as the other woman
ghostly at the table
stares straight ahead
knowing everything that happened
and is going to happen

Friday, May 5, 2017

He used to be famous

World War II
a plaza with makeshift cages
rows and rows of cages
GIs walk by
dressed sharply in uniform
some with Italian Women
they pass a cage
inside an Old Man
the GI has been holding a cat
he holds it into the cage
the Old Man shambles over
takes the cat
pets it lovingly
then he suddenly
bites into its neck
transforms into a ravening beast
blood and fur everywhere
the woman is horrified
is crying out
the Old Man retreats
to the corner of his cage
back to the couple
tearing into the cat's body
the woman is in tears
the GI is smiling
why? she asks him
he tells her
you'll find out tomorrow
the next day
they are again strolling
past the cages
they stop at the cage
of the Old Man
the woman is anxious
doesn't want to look
the GI urges her to
inside all the parts of the cat
bones organs muscle fur
have been arranged on the floor
in a pattern of ineffable beauty
against her will
because it it still horrible
the woman is enraptured
by the destruction
of the cat
it's so beautiful
the Old Man
pays them no mind
hunches over in the corner
muttering to himself
in a way
she says
it almost redeems
the horrible death of the animal
I know
says the GI
we've been doing it for months
it's really something
why's he a prisoner
ask the woman
he was a poet
says the GI
he's been accused of treason
he used to be famous
name's Ezra Pound

What that is I am unable to articulate

summer night in the desert
suburbia neighborhood
somewhere in the southwest
houses all the same
freshly built
kids out playing
the night is luminous
from the light of the Milky Way
above the houses
which though lit
even stand as shadows
against the light
of a billion galaxial suns
I am outside
barefoot in a driveway
desert scrub instead of lawn
overhead the heavens turn
in full on splendor
purple yellow orange
nebula sprays
I can actually see
the stars turning
across the skies
amidst the stars
like faint paisley forms
are constellated figurations
traced over forms of gods
heroes and mythic figures
and faces and more shapes
within these
the skies are full of meaning
it endless fascination
I feel like I could
watch the heavens forever
I'm amazed and enchanted
A co-worker from HM is there
I tell him
the sky are brilliant
I am at a loss for words
it's like archetypal photograph
of the Milky Way
those images photographers
have to seek out deep in the desert
here almost taken for granted
as the nightly sky
the co-worker is not impressed
it's just the sky
same sky
like it always is
he asks me to follow him
he is moving quickly
over the rough and rocky
desert ground
we move behind a cheap house
through the dried scrub and cactus
there are fluted rock formations
beneath my feet
like walking on a cavern floor
he is almost jogging
we are like two kids
walking around the neighborhood
with immunity
no one wondering why
we are walking through their yards
he comes to a bush
sort of a madrona type shrub
the bare branches form a dark cage
that he bids me
to sit down within
he is normally reticent
with anything personal
but he confides in me
tells me he admires
my practice of niceness
of wearing a protective suit of ego
when I am around crowds
and treating each and every
with unfailing niceness
I try to explain about violent hope
but it all seems silly
more self congratulations
I thank him
it's a good moment there
inside the sanctuary
of this natural cage
he evidently comes here often
to get away from it all
above I can see
the still pulsing cosmic dance
of the stars
there is a sense
all the years of pratice
are finally coming to a fruition
but what that is
I am unable to articulate