Obituary

As a child
he loved to be buried
alive in wild leaves
come autumn
a tumulus of orange
red, yellow
would lie quietly as a king
inside his burial mound
as our hands dropped fluttering
starred flakes of blood and gold
across his laugh
last of all
I remember your eyes
glittering
otherworldly
Why come to see you
buried bitterly today
without the colors
we all possessed then

But

But I wanted love to be a quickening like sugar, she said, as we entered the dark park. We entered the dark slope of the park in autumn. We had all breath sucked out of us going downhill. It was entering a Brueghel painting. Or worse.

Dark park slope, read us.

The trees reached for us. They were in their own motives. Trees bare of leaves, no longer possessed of the business of themselves. Or so it seemed. They had to do what, just dream all winter long? Just keep the sap moving, I guess. How not to think of neon, loneliness used to outline bars. Leftover humans. It makes me think of leftover humans with rug burns. Talking about them forever.

All our muses were stray dogs.

On ledges.

The serrated park was separated from the prison on the hill by a creek where the Canada geese had their menages in summer. They had their menages on the water. Mostly fighting with other couples. There were really just four of them. Maybe they had lovers too. A filthy creek. The prison, we looked up to it. Just then: no geese. The light bulbs were coming on inside, out. It was a unification principle. Some of the lights were odd greens. Getting dark early, the men must have stirred harder.

The men with figures in their heads, constantly counting back to acts. Who does that?  Useless, locked up ponytails.

Farming the human body gets you there. I mean menders with drugs.

We flowed down the hill talking blithely of sugar, love, death, vegetables gone sour. Here eat this, she said, meaning a strange fruit she had picked from the ground like a poison dream in a fairy tale. I laughed. There was a jagged glass ring on a branch end, neck of a broken bottle someone (probably a kid) had stuck there. The bethrothal. I marry you, forced nature, with this piece of broken glass.

There had been an actual wedding here a week ago. Parks are never safe from brides and grooms. Pastel tissue flowers melted in the rain. There was inexplicably a hunk of watermelon. The dogs jerked back like Frankenstein’s monsters when we screamed. The watermelon was a bomb, we told them. Dogs will believe anything. We are a social state suddenly. When we have pets. Other people had touched it. All the animals that follow, who come after other people have left, they must have had their mouths all over it. Easy watermelon, I distrust you. If something is dropped or dipped in nature, it will be much scrutinized and then enter all mouths when the appropriate, manipulative stars shine.

There is a hatred of easiness, easiness.

We were in relation to each other but bugging.

It is a way to be, sitting on tree trunks as we were now never known, listening to our own stories like skeins of geese that had passed over us quite some time back, giving us a reference point for the narrative we would soon chuck into the all night grocery store. Maybe 3 a.m. talking to overlapping lobsters, milling carapaces in a glass tank refracts them in ways they will never know.

What you said, what I said, as the prison on the hill dreamt.

Blood Moon

Restless trees turn on microphones
because it is autumn again.
The staghorn sumac mocks the deer.
The moon mocks everything,
the haunted mini-golf course
by the forgotten highway
where the deer stand,
the dead ice cream cubicle
with its ghosts of hands
that offered edible Platonic forms
across the counter,
the miniature iron clubs
left inside the ice cream stand
that dates to the sixties,
shaped like a cosmonaut’s pod
in a museum. Everything
is ancient and new tonight,
including you.  The deer stand
on the pretend grass,
before the fiberglass
mountain and other
miniatures our game made.
The moon turns its blood
eye like a dead carp
to the window where
a young girl stands
with so much pity
for the world, she tries
to drink the overage
of the viscous blood,
wrong moonlight
from its very eye.

Poem for October Shootings

Another autumn comes
to get the trees stoned,
to squeeze your hand
with thin and late light
a little on this street
that’s shaded by all these
ancient sycamores. You love
the scraggy sounds
those giant leaves
make when, dried-out,
they fall, and run like rats
down the street when wind
comes around that corner
that’s actually a dive bar.
The soul spittoon’s only windows
are narrow glass cinder blocks,
castle slits, so you’re spared
from seeing the dead/dying
who sit in there and watch
a small television
in the moist underworld,
who sometimes shoot each other
dead-for-real just outside the door
of this cave establishment,
because someone else just said
what they were already
thinking about themselves
in a cruelly honest way.