I DON’T BELIEVE HE EVER LIVED
I see his red and white striped shirt hanging against all the others left untouched by his breath. I say Thank You to that shirt for all the poetry readings and places, and also to the Navy Dress White for Angel’s wedding, I say Thank you to each one, following them down the rack talking to a closet. Perhaps he wanted freedom from all these but I am still in the forest and wonder about the meals we’ve forgotten and the peaches once eaten—did they exist? That sounds like some do-good-seeking philosophy. No. It is the quick cold snow of truth, biting and cold, gone as snow.
HERE IS A POEM YOU CAN HIDE IN
Silence, The Way It Hides The Truth
Silence, wanderer, you, with your purposeful imagery --
Nothing inflames the past as much as you do!
How many places can you lead the mind at once --
Perception? (Oh, now you look down) – Invention?
(Now you nod) -- So much you hold, to darkness,
then to bliss.
Look at this collection of poems -- most expressive,
don’t you think? Various patterns fused together? All
with Silence. So, how many
different directions do you own, replenished by words?
You surround language with sensuality as if you were alive.
You want to do us in,
your ceaseless spirit, avoiding my gaze,
taking us down the road with you.
Silence, the mother of all muses,
always the winner, in wait for us, with your cunning,
treating me to the final word.
into strands of sunshine,
and before Cass Elliott choked on a head of lettuce
her last Caribbean trip,
they sang Leaving on a Jet Plane.
She wrote it and I wondered
why it was so sad,
here she was rich and famous,
though I admit a little fat.
But before she left and he left,
and everyone I knew left,
we sang that song, to keep fear away
records in the trunk of our car.
Trini Lopez was the rage then
and we kept Trini under cover in the trunk
so wherever we happened
to find ourselves, we could always offer up a dance.
Cass was sad. I’m sure of it. She had cause to be.
That smile was just a mask, and all the rest rehearsal.
I was there that year. I should know.