I lied. I found several collections of poems I wrote in college and will be posting them before I move on to my most recent works. Some of them I enjoy, some I wonder what I had been thinking. Some had inspirations (which I will point out), and some were spontaneous, and some I submitted for peer review in an English class I have taken. Some are long and some are odd, but they are all mine and show, somewhat, how my mind works.
The first of these is probably the most strange (as I am a fan of the oddities of the world) and I decided to write a poem attempting to interpret a short film I once saw, entitled Crooked Orcus Rot. It was an interesting experience, but I’ve already been told by a dozen classmates and my teacher it “wasn’t easy to relate to”. Which wasn’t the point of the work. It was just something I wanted to do.
Crooked Orcus Rot
Most men are born naked, barren of divine
gifts. A select few have halos bright,
golden, shimmering, glorious, perfect rings.
Upon their death, these halos still shine
they search the masses by their own light;
they search for gods of men, for kings.
Yet many a halo is lost to the damned and the weak
minded. Perfection cries for the death of the meek.
Death is a pale face in a hospital bed. He smokes
cigars others light for him with cold metal lighters.
He lives to show us blurry thoughts we love,
only to see the smiles they can provoke.
Thoughts turn to dust and decay, and the over-nighters
soon wonder what his last thoughts were of.
Our eyes dilate at the sight of death and we stall
briefly. My grandfather’s eyes glaze over and fall.
Outside the snow falls in steady, six-pointed streams
Onto the lengthy top of a recently waxed hearse,
And I can recall how I saw the streetlights
Throwing down their weak midnight beams
into the corners of my mother’s black purse.
The car doors close. One cigarette ignites
and the smell of smoke lasts for hours.
She weeps at the thought of God’s powers.
Death has a sister named Life. She is the saving grace
of us, the one who cries at the funeral. She looks on
peoples’ fragile hearts and protects children who are held
in the dismembered hand of God, embryos. “Face
this world!” She screams, knowing too well he is gone.
Ghosts of parents, not knowing what was yelled,
turn their flaky cheeks to the northerly winds and sigh
heavily. They watch their children grow old and die.
I have asked where God can be found, In red wines?,
In classical music?, In scented candles?, On dance
floors?, In Love’s spark?, Being passed from someone
to somebody to somebody else? I find all these signs
point to the stars, and to those very rare and chance
encounters that seem to leave my heart nearly undone.
So I go stargazing on moonless nights and try to love
deeply. And yet, I still have no halo that I know of.
Death was human. He had problems, about which he raves.
He was way past his prime, already sleeping the days away
in the casket he picked out. The lacy pillows were hand-sown.
We are the mourners, those left behind. We dig our own graves
and bury ourselves without knowing. We will always stay
at a safe distance, but one day, this death will be our own.
And until then, we gradually make this pull away from the real
world. Slowly forgetting to taste, hear, see, smell and feel.
Sometime soon, I’ll be unafraid.
This cycle of Life and Death will end,
but not forever. Only while
Our family’s halos begin to fade.
My grandfather’s dead lips will bend.
Showing even Death can smile.