Thursday, August 23, 2007

under

i smile at funerals, some times, and take the opportunity to
ponder, oratory selections, incomprehensible chants of celibate
men, wearing wool, clouded by perspiration, strange under
garments

dressed with rumor, gossipy under-breath speculation
and struggle beneath the weight of an old man spent
travestied, spilling woozy memories in no order, some
disorder

you can see my steps in the turned dirt, deeply printed
but i don't stagger from the obligation, or from the misspent
hours, can't grasp grief, its fluid saturation and don't offer
solace

we have no preservation, of the old man, the tales he gave
keep no account of his children, forlorn or wondrous
have no record of his conquests, years of chasing passion
wrongs

where do we hope to be, at the end of this day, after
casseroles are eaten, kisses profused, handshakes barely
done, when night's long confrontations are begun
4am

ethel merman, show biz, and i some times smile at funerals
i've memorized company, long passages that form the eyewall
protect me from this strange ritual, unexplainable
unknowable

do i seem appropriate, grappling with the distance and
discontinuity, offensively bland, no register of tearsome
blather, playing comedy, playing all the parts with my
panache

or i could juggle yellow balls, red bowling pins, direct
the limousines with checkered flags, as i ponder, reflect
is this the end he would have chosen, if the choosing
were not the end

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