Thursday, October 04, 2007

Brown-Bag Poetry (10.4.07)

"A Day in the Life" style.


wrinkled flags wave, crowded together
on sidewalks like onlookers
at the scene of an accident.
the silent crowd of flag-bearers stand vigil,
stoney-faced, bearing the weight of loss
like the burden of the pall-bearers
carrying the fallen officer to his final rest.
a lone patrolman walks down the line
not looking at the citizens
he and his fallen comrade swore to serve
and protect, and the unmourning wind
catches his black tie and pushes it
to the side, waving, like a dark and
wrinkled flag.


like a rock in the river bed,
the back of his shaved head rises out of the water,
a peninsula attached to the dead flesh, the dead earth
floating prone in the opaque liquid.
it has stopped bleeding,
this body that stopped being his. the wound
will not heal, not even with time.
the robes, sodden and stained and
dark-soaked, trail away like a scarf.
in division, dissention, death,
he has achieved oneness
with the world. oneness in place,
oneness in matter, as he lay
unmoving, rocklike, surrounded by
bare reeds
and brown water.


when Norman jumped,
we thought he was crazy. but
there he went, feet apart, arms
stretched out behind him, like a
webless Spiderman looking for a
safe place to land. no way we could have
guessed that he would take flight,
no way he'd jump off a
third story balcony and into the open
air, we said, it's just not normal. yet
there Norman went, over the rail,
off the balcony, down to the
garage and ground, like a scared cat.
(though not as cleverly, as we learned later,
'cause he sprained his ankles when he couldn't
stick the landing.)
when the man on the ground with the camera
caught Norman (first on film, then in flesh)
and pinned him, the flighty
fleet-footed fool wriggled and pulled to
worm his way out of the cameraman's grasp.
I just wish one of the officers who read Norman
his right to be silent and not run like a danged idiot,
would have thought to ask him,
"Norman, did you really think you could


'i'm not dead,' harry said, but the sculptor
chuckled, ' m'boy, listen, that's no big thing
when you're talking about sculpture. it's never too early
or late for a eulogy.' the young prince scowled.
'why the vulture?' 'it represents'
'why the flowers?' 'aren't they lovely.'
'i like the ears.' 'don't get too attached, i'm
selling those on the internet next week.'
'who's the vulture again?' then the sculptor scowled.
'but i'm not dead' harry said, most emphatic, trying
to be understood. the sculptor shrugged. 'it's about war.'
'but they won't let me fight!' 'doesn't matter, you're a symbol.'
'I'd rather be a person.' 'if it was good enough
for your mum, it should be good enough for you.' 'but she
was a person, too.' the sculptor winked. 'sure, but symbols
are easier to remember.'


[and finally, a topical haiku. apply directly to the forehead. wakka wakka.]

Dear D-Backs pitchers,
Is Webb your only real ace?
I really hope so.

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