Poem a Day 29

The site I get my prompts from has been down all day, so I just did as I would. (ETA, the prompt is relevant anyway. We cannot avoid our fate.)

The City Midway through Our Slow Apocalypse

This, too, is important. The titanic wreck
Buoyed up on a tide of my own incompetence.
It was icebergs,  you said, because you always blame the Jews;
And, ashamed, I took the pass. The autumn nights
Along the river lacked that misty picturesque
I took for meaning. Like car alarms. Three in the morning. Two
On the autumn night.

I hanged myself before the Lord,
I hanged myself for virtue,
I hanged myself and told myself
This isn’t going to hurt you…

Behind the clickety curtain, the foreign chefs
Rinse, like a raccoon, the tea leaves
But never their hands, the kicking girl told me,
Once again kicking in a booth on a school night, waiting
For her mother’s shift to end, another tragedy
I may cash in on if I’m clever. So sad, so near my room.
Another party. Everyone’s eyes.

I hanged myself with blessings and
I hanged myself with curses,
I hanged myself like Carradine
And scandalized the nurses…

Everything sought has the appearance of shadows,
If shadow implies weight. Wraiths, mirages, cast
None. The tyranny from a stoop proclaiming
Long life a trump, a final trump. His war
Memories. As though the morning
Was not the clearest, as though my first
Step was not the last right one.

I hanged myself for nine long nights,
I hanged myself for wisdom,
I hanged myself before the girls
Who’d giggle when I kissed them…

Already nostalgic for the day before
Yesterday, with its exotic hair and hats,
The idiots who are not me slit
Their eyes as we pass. I, willing goodwill
Upon all life — fireflies, elms, etc. —
Admit exceptions. Wet streets but no
Rain. Day for night.

They hanged me for a mountebank,
They hanged me for a traitor,
They hanged me for a libertine,
And chronic masturbator,

They hanged me for a Jacobite,
They hanged me for a failure,
They put the rope around my neck.
I sighed, This seems familiar…

The desperate hope that every
Meaningless step is
(Unwilling middle watch
Shaking shaking
B-b-b-babbling
Slightly misspoken)
Bleeding home.

 

 

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