Sunday, October 28, 2012

One more Halloween poem

I hope you all get a trick or treat this Halloween, but if you don't get either, here's a poem for your pillowcase.

how to get out.

if you are lucky, your closest living relative will have provided
a safety device: such as a bell, a whistle, or, for the modern day
dead, a cell phone. though reception may be difficult to attain
at six feet under. expect the darkness in which your shadow
abandons you and possesses itself. the odor of excretion:
sweat and urine. the putrid stench of decomposition. of flesh-flies’
adoration. don’t worry, it’s not shit or skunk or road kill: just you.
don’t panic…the increase of psychological distress. will shorten
the breath. you’ve no clue. how much is left. how many last gasps.
torment don’t squirm…you will only hurt yourself
don’t fear. your death.  your body has already
suffered            the process:  instead pretend it’s a possibility
for another life.  when you’re finished shrieking. take. a few.
minutes to become acquainted with your casket. first check:
for a signaling device.  should you find one, thank Count
Karnice-Karnicki. should you not, curse your closest living relative.
grope on: there should be a book or a cross, love letters or prayers
your teddy. you may take a moment to hug teddy___okay stop.
put him aside, he’s no good as a shovel.  waste no time for the ground
to settle. over you. for the rain to make dirt clods pebbles. for petals
to brown and sink. angle the remains so that your legs may be
useful. push the lid. and dig. with the cross or book edge or desperate
empty hands. and head up. just head up. without. hesitation. scrape
till you bleed. you think. asphyxiation. the alternative: dirt up nose.
rocks down ears. why fear suffocation? in panic one scrapes for solution
yet. it’s elementary. dig up. dig up. dig up. until there are six feet under.

Halloween poems

In the spirit of Halloween I'm posting two poems that I wrote in the first workshop I ever took many many years ago. Back in those early days I wrote a lot of murder mystery poetry at my colleagues' requests and to our professor's (Sandy Mcpherson's) concern.

Black Diamonds

under an asphalt night
             with shadows of snow fists
                           permitted a short-lived pallor
          before high beams loosen their corporeal grip

a driver:

Come on…                  oh!
Speed up
slow for the curves

Don’t force red out                               the rear lights

       enough of it seeps back there

I’m Fine.
Everyone’s Fine.

But wait!                      A carpool lane?
And we are two!
I almost forgot you
  a              forceful             forgot
a                  forget              -me            -not
 were there

I’ve been down
black diamonds

off a cliff
not on rocks
the snow’s been too thick
the snow                    fall            thicker before              night’s done
the snow                              a sheet            several                                    feet   
the snow                                                                                                           stifle all
silent stample                                        nestle                     with permanence

after                 there                 be                    tracing              tracks
            tonight              ’ll                     no                    skiers’
to                     whether            ’d                     down                diamonds or
            tell                    they                  led                    the                    off

                                                to worry
                                                about   You’re already
                                                                  set I’ve put
                                                                your gear on
                                                          you, skis and all
                                                              Only we must
                                                                 get there we
                                                              must get there
Red lights
Not brakes                   Blue lights too
Flashing                        Though I’m not speeding                       —Pull Over—

Slower             slower              drive slower
Hello officer                  play cool
You were driving in the carpool lane
But I know, I know I
can because we are two
But where is the second passenger?
You can’t see him?

He                    can’t                 see                   him
Clear as night certain as day come right this way
I’ll prove it if you promise not to write me up
If you promise to not
                                    not to stop
                                                            me tonight
                                                            we must be
                                                            on my way

The Authority:

Pushing, pushing, he’s pushing.
How bold.  He just must not see
My lights, yet still he’s rushing
Even though he can’t pass me.

But wait, he’s moved to the fast lane.
No signal, he can’t tell I’m a cop.
Swerving, can’t stay inside the lines,
Further to the left and he’ll drop

Not over rocks,
Not through slush,
But upon snow over snow over snow.
The metal will rip apart like strips of torn paper,
His body lost in tow.

If he flew as fast as black diamonds
I could pull him on over right now.
I first want a reason for the ticket
But wait, he’s in the fast lane, that’s how.

But we are two, he’s shaking at the joints.
He’s confused, but he’s not drunk.
He just wants to be on his way so he points.
But why is the passenger in the trunk?