Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Thrown Out

Crossbones, "overcharged with dead,"
Festooned gate a shrine
"People of all faiths and none"
Give "The Outcast Dead":

Here lies thoughts' new favorite haunt,
Not the hard world's patch of dirt,
Bear pits, London Town,
But the quick-limed pile of words'
Shivery mythology,
The outsider curse.

A space made by faith
For unconsecrated filth
As defined by faith,
That dark repository
Clutches all unhallowed bones.

I love her for that.
My ghost will adore her more,
Once I'm done building
This, my own pile of banned bits
And bobs of a life's lost lives.

Oh, I'm so sorry for you.
What in your writing
Could not have been done better
In other genres?

Here. The larks are ascending
Over the echoes of bones
Recovered from crows.
Intersections of remains,
Vortices of stolen words
And borrowed phrases

Remain in the soil.
We're so eager to destroy
Evidence of life,
So eager to recover
Any evidence of life.

We don't recycle
Like the spinning world, the moon.
Brown smoke and black dogs
Barking line the parade route
Through smoldering funerals.

Dug Up

A young man who's been around
The wide world lectured
On dances for ancestors
Who died digging mines.

You keep doing it all day,
Every day until you die.
He began to dance
The Tanko Bushi, miming
The hard work of digging coal.
Does smoke choke the moon?

"Mourning," "love," "prayer,"
Mormon students tried to guess
His gestures' meanings.
He explained the dance to them,
Explained ancestor worship,

Worked his way backward
From the dance to the closed mine,
The mine to Obon,
Obon to "great suffering,"
And Buddhism to Shinto.

Syncretism confused them.
It should. He explained
Monks imported from China,
Buddhism's missions'

Spread, natural disasters
Blamed on Buddhists, natural
Disasters Buddhists
Blamed on Shinto, finally
A truce. No more disasters?
No. More disasters,

The divine essence.
A listening poet thought
Of the Ainu,
Arctolatrous outsiders
Far from London's baited pits.

Well, bears, prostitutes,
Indigenes, unbelievers,
Wonder, fear, and love,
All to be feared, held sacred,
A skull-pine skull still weathers.


Pathway of the gods:
Really, wholly are nothing
Like one another.

Borges thought reality
Favored "symmetries
And slight anachronisms."

I have been really
Devoted to poetry.
I will be wholly

Devoted to these remains,
Though my devotion will be

After I've escaped
The fixed temple of these bones
To enjoy chaos.

You can't appease hungry ghosts.
You can't appease poems.
The outcast dead, hung from trees

Or flung on dung heaps,
Have already forgotten
And become holy.

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