While you are preparing for sleep, brushing your teeth,
or riffling through a magazine in bed,
the dead of the day are setting out on their journey.
They’re moving off in all imaginable directions,
each according to his own private belief,
and this is the secret that silent Lazarus would not reveal:
that everyone is right, as it turns out.
you go to the place you always thought you would go,
The place you kept lit in an alcove in your head.
Some are being shot into a funnel of flashing colors
into a zone of light, white as a January sun.
Others are standing naked before a forbidding judge who sits
with a golden ladder on one side, a coal chute on the other.
Some have already joined the celestial choir
and are singing as if they have been doing this forever,
while the less inventive find themselves stuck
in a big air conditioned room full of food and chorus girls.
Some are approaching the apartment of the female God,
a woman in her forties with short wiry hair
and glasses hanging from her neck by a string.
With one eye she regards the dead through a hole in her door.
There are those who are squeezing into the bodies
of animals—eagles and leopards—and one trying on
the skin of a monkey like a tight suit,
ready to begin another life in a more simple key,
while others float off into some benign vagueness,
little units of energy heading for the ultimate elsewhere.
There are even a few classicists being led to an underworld
by a mythological creature with a beard and hooves.
He will bring them to the mouth of the furious cave
guarded over by Edith Hamilton and her three-headed dog.
The rest just lie on their backs in their coffins
wishing they could return so they could learn Italian
or see the pyramids, or play some golf in a light rain.
They wish they could wake in the morning like you
and stand at a window examining the winter trees,
every branch traced with the ghost writing of snow.
@4 months ago
It was sadness that gripped him, far more than the fear
That, if facing the truth, he had maybe a year.
When poetic phrases like “eyes, look your last”
Become true, all you want is to stay, to hold fast.
A new, fierce attachment to all of this world
Now pierced him, it stabbed like a deity-hurled
Lightning bolt lancing him, sent from above.
Left him giddy and tearful. It felt like young love.
He’d thought of himself as uniquely proficient
At seeing, but now that sense felt insufficient.
He wanted to grab, to possess, to devour
To eat with his eyes, how he needed that power.
Just like a child whose big gun is a stick,
Cliff was now harmless. He’s gotten too sick
To take any action beyond rudimentary
Routines as a trunk to the most elementary
Which pill to take now? And where is your sweater?
Did the Imodium make you feel better?
Study your shit to make sure you’d not bled.
Make sure the Kleenex is next to the bed.
Make sure, be prepared, plan out every endeavor,
Like a scout on the stupidest camping trip ever.
The facts were now harder, reality colder,
His parasol no match for this falling boulder
And so the concern with trivial issues,
Slippers nearby, and approximate tissues.
He thought of those two things in life that don’t vary,
Well, though only glancingly, more was too scary.
Inevitable, why even bother to test it?
He’d paid all his taxes, so that left
You guessed it.
@5 months ago
#Rakoff #Love Dishonor Marry Die Cherish Perish: A Novel #Rhyming Couplets
@5 months ago
#High Maintenance #Ben Sinclair
An interesting webseries “High Maintenance" that follows a pot delivery man in New York City as he zigzags through the humming city and the lives of its weary inhabitants. Ben Sinclair, co-creator and executive producer, is amazing as the hard-to-read, nameless delivery man.