Thursday, December 4, 2014

Decoupage o'Death

1. "a decoupage of memories, both individual and shared"

A phrase ricochets around the web
And ends up lodged in a wiki page:
"The origin of decoupage is thought
To be," the phrase repeats and repeats,

"East Siberian tomb art." There it is,
The legacy of mustachioed Scythians,
Tattoed and riding on horseback in layers
Of felt on felt, the unfeeling heroes' origins

Portrayed at death as on a poet's stage.
Why do you care about this? Why
Do I? Savor the clues to a madness
More ancient than me, more ancient

Than you. Then the world unfurls in
A banner of felt on felt, a Matisse
Old and ill, but still, so damned
Creative. I am. I am entombed

In my art in my feelings, in felt.
Feel me. We cut ourselves
Out so easily. We layer our lives
So carefully. Koloksai unhorsed, free.

2. "The shooting star spot painting"

Death is death. End of story.
Not that stories mean, really,
Anything. But death is death
And after words, well, things
Might in their own way begin again,
But that's another story, isn't it?

3. "You want to sit outside, don't you?"

One day, toward the end of summer,
Ethan stood talking to the Professor
After a breakfast no one else had
Attended. Ethan was rueful, clearing

Plates and setting aside food
For appetites that might come later.
The Professor was appreciative,
And trying to show it, patting his belly.

"You need to ask her about that
Other world of hers," the Professor
Suggested. Ethan shrugged. "I don't
Know, Milton. What do you want

Me to find out from her that might
Actually help anything?" The Professor
Picked his teeth and chuckled. "What
Can she give you? Narrative? Simple description?

You've got yourself a girlfriend who's a specialist
In death, even if she can't remember it.
You say she says she sees something. Well,
How new or how boring is it? Is it

Some kind of heaven you think
She's witnessing? Some kind of hell?
An inside or an outside? What is it?"
"I'd say it was an outside," answered Ethan.

4."I heard him tap his cane"

He dreams and forgets
Same as the rest. Dreams
Of happiness and death.

Forgets what he dreams.
Life and good health to him
Are as meat, drink, and breath.

Layer his remembering
In salvaged scraps to create
An image of breadth and depth.

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