"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



Sunlight so pristine  turning tops of trees into burnished

gold in late autumn breeze   Leaves scattered on shitty

sidewalks  (guess you thought poet going soft-filter  maudlin

well guess again)  Come back long suffering reader  Dive into

this bardo  where words slice you open  +words glue you back

together  Where hope is a relative term   And no  I did not buy

the mug that said: Fuck Death!   ($15  @ Red Pegasus)


So many distractions for the living:  sugar  sex  methamphetamine

tequila  For those of you over that bad trip  back in 76  when you guzzled

the cheapstuff  +in an agaved frenzy  slept with 10 engineers consensually

3 of them women   2 satyrs    +5 run of the mill guys:

can I see you again?  No

can I get yer number?  No

can I stay over?  No

can I get a reach-around?  No

can I get a raincheck?  Sure


But I digress   George Saunders  Lincoln in The Bardo  writes of the dead

with such uncanny knowing  he must be  or is soon to be   He tells of near

ghosts waiting by their sick-boxes   Apparently there is a period  or bardo-

state  when one might return home  Willie Lincoln 10yrs. old waits for his

father  who comes nightly (historically true)  +lifts the boy out of his box!


The nearby dead are filled with shock  +envy so deep they begin to gather

+self-flagellate in wormy shame  For not one has been touched after that day

(Oh they’d touch you alright.  They’d wrangle you into your sick-box. Dress

you how they wanted you. Stitch and paint you as necessary. But never touch

you again.   Lincoln in The Bardo  George Saunders)


Why is this so rare an act?  Biological imperative?  Bacteria?  Disease?  Or some

other reason  In Judaism they want you in the land of the living  prohibited to

even visit the new grave for 30 days  By then you’re back at the mill  But certainly

if death by quadruple by-pass  no germs remain?  Heartworms?  Angina droplets

inhaled?   Root word of Angina is: RAGE   Yes  RAGE  at the separation


Why not ignore the exhortation?  Return that night +lift your father out   Talk +

laugh until early birds catch the fucking worms   RETURN!  RETURN!    Re-write

the arcane rituals  +the concept of eternity will be ripped open by bored hellhounds

And you +your dearly departed  will alchemically worm your way back into each

other’s psyches     Only Believe



Uneraseable  because already erased

Everything finally of course is metaphysical

Frank Bidart  Metaphysical Dog Poems 2013




Fall 2017



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