I have watched the black and white interviews
with the poet on his ramshackle farm,
quoting himself, word for word, his old muse
near-suicidal, disposed to self-harm,
and how dark are the later, silver years
when the laurels clutter the poet’s head;
it is enough to bring a man to tears,
if only allergies when eyes are red.
He writes so little verse, but acts a script
writ daily, with what life he may muster,
his mask such as is in a pharaoh’s crypt,
sometimes lacquered, sometimes just lackluster.
If I could walk, I would walk to the place
where bumblebees buzz about the clover
and I’d prop the shotgun against my face
for an Ernest Hemingway make-over.
I do not joke, for I do not know how
when, year after year, the dream is deferred,
and weary wrinkles grow across my brow,
so let the buckshot have the final word.
An exclamation mark is very apt
when it looks like the shotgun and the shell,
and it would waken the world while I napped
apart from this life, and its unread tale.
I would resign my dreams unto the ground
for the first time creating my own buzz
as busy bees would scatter at the sound
of what might have been, and what never was.
I glimpse glimmers of fame
in the night,
beasts ablaze with my name
and chance light,
yet these coyotes flee
down the road
as if to deprive me
of their gold
leading me on and on
their fur like a new dawn
round each bend
in never-ending flight
through the dark,
their will o ’ the wisp light
but a lark
leading me to the glen
where they go —
they turn toward me, then,
and bare their snarling teeth,
and laugh at my grief;
They circle round and round
in their game,
the hunter now prey found:
such is fame.
There is a kind of salt-lipped purity
when drowning where no one can ever see,
plunged in the dark depths of obscurity,
lost among the fathoms—you can be free.
Others flail from up top, astride air-side,
at the surface, searching for the lifeboats,
hoping for dolphins, or sharks, any ride—
desperate enough for flotsam that floats.
But 15 minutes is all drowning takes
to die unseen and unsung down below,
whereas 15 minutes within the wakes
is the most that showboats may ever know.
There is much love to be had
and so much joy to enjoin,
far too much to be so sad
as if all a fairy coin,
and even so, covet leaf
in a purse of gilt Autumn
rather than indulge the grief
of a lordly, ill-got sum.
Some fear the poor peasant’s lot
and there’s much to fear in such
for what comforts might be bought
or fare found at such a touch,
but fairy leaf from the wood
can still make a bitter brew,
which when hot still tastes as good
if imbibed with wisdom’s dew,
for it warms and heals the soul
even when a trick is played,
drank inside when cold winds blow
with lemongrass from the glade,
whereas a brow on the throne
breaks beneath the coffers’ weight,
castles chilling to the bone
and troubles beyond the gate.
True his throat knows better food
and grows fatter, (never thin),
but it is his neck that’s hewed
if deposed by his cousin.
So when life gives you such wealth
from the Fae, those puckish thieves,
thank the errant, lying elf
and boil water for the sieves—
after all, you could brew tea
which might earn sums most handsome
from folks feeling quite chilly,
thus earning a king’s ransom.
More useless than coins
placed upon eyes of a corpse,
his posthumous fame.
What flower did not wither, too,
when under the magnifying glass,
the focused, scrutinizing rays
burning petals, stems, and the grass
surrounding it, hitherto
shriveling in that relentless gaze?
Nor can little army men
endure such a spotlight for long,
melting down as plastic sludge
despite however well-made and strong
while the lens focuses when
we critical children glare and judge.
And even an armored ant pawn
doing as its hivemind intends
cannot withstand that laser ray
while we, jaded, follow trends,
never reflecting on
how we may find ourselves burnt someday.