Monday, December 12, 2016

Death and Poetry

My poem "Death and Poetry" is the featured poem of the day at Rattle today. The title makes the poem sound gloomy but I don't think it is -- but maybe I have a high gloominess threshold. Anyway, you can read the poem here and also hear me read it. There's a link after the poem for the audio version of the poem. Just click on it and my voice will come booming through. Thanks to the editor Timothy Green for setting all this up.


Somewhere there are shadows,
My mother in a doorway, my father
Standing by a fence. You must have
Your own shadows. The dead in one
Another’s arms. The black hearse.
Someone you love behind the curtains.

I remember Abbott and Costello,
Two dead comedians, joking about curtains:
“It’s curtains for me, curtains for you,”
Then the curtains part and the killer
Appears and says, “Slowly I turn,”
But it’s never slowly enough,

And suddenly you’re there
With your own dead and your own
Dying, and nothing feels closer to you
Than the wow moment when you won’t
Be you but some scattered, tattered
Discombobulation of purposeless ions,

The dust that suddenly is last week’s lunch
And this week’s memories of everything
That will not last, and you’re not laughing
Although you once did at Abbott and Costello
Or maybe it was the Three Stooges grinding
On about how slowly death comes.

Less carriage ride than bullet, it’s here now
And all of these words are so purposeless
That it’s a good thing I’m writing all of this
Down now because if I were to wait
Until the moment of my own death
I would just wave these words away.


Teri said...

Stunningly beautiful and haunting. Thanks for birthing this.

David Scott said...

I'm always grateful to come across a fellow writer that understands the complete power of the written word. This is almost tangible, almost too real.

John Guzlowski said...

David, thank you so much for reading. Nothing we write exists unless someone reads it. Thank you.