Wednesday, June 07, 2006

POEM: Elegy

You wail in counterpoint to the church bells
Ringing down the road from the clinic
9 times they tolled, as if to say "enough, enough"
Or perhaps "so soon"

My mind a study of indecision.
In my heart, I am holding off death
In one moment
And urging it on in the next

"It's not fair to let them suffer"
But are you "them", or am I?
Who is spared, and who condemned?

I watch the syringe deliver sleep into your veins.
I hold you, oblivious to your lack of control
I croon your favorite story in your ear
The one you would overcome stairs and the dog and old age
To hear every bedtime

Your eyes never close

All the men of our house, the fraternity you left behind
Dig your grave
The world, drained by your absence of any warmth
Weeps ice instead of tears

POEM: work session

Eyes wide like a horse about to spook
Sideways staring at my fingers on the keyboard
As if they are medusae-snakes, ready to betray you at any moment
Capture you and bind you and force you into
The impossible labor of sentences and grammar

Head thrown back, eyes unfocused,
fingers bucking and jumping on the keys like 15 year old driving a stick-shift
Brain firing on all cylenders at the same time
Unable to hold onto just half of one thought
As your steady stream of ideas,
Each one thesis-worthy
Race by me

The words:
Twist and writhe on paper
Despairing of their limitation, their solid singlular concrete meaning
Desperate to break the bonds that hold them fast
To leap off the page, to be able to shift and change and transform
both themselves and those who view them
To rise again in the mind, in the air between us
Where your brain gave them birth
And your lips gave them flight