Did the disciples have to audition for Jesus a little? How grim certain landscapes are but not in New England, home of ghosts and forests and warranty deeds and - far back but still vital - a very dramatic conflict in which we are implicated. More whiskey please, I'm about to talk about my father.
Whereas my mother and I could talk a long time if she was in a mood and I let it be all about her, a kind of selflessness that ran headlong into a love that was only yet learning what love was, doing a lot of damage in the process.
Carrying boxes down from the attic, emptying them. I am the man who buries the pets, all of them, I am the one who sees them a last time, stiff and hard, caked with dried vomit, some torn open by foxes or weasels, some beautiful and bright, like parrots that fell asleep dreaming of a world made of mirrors.
Thunderstorms pass, breezes rise up, wanna-be acolytes talking about Christ days after he left for Jerusalem.
Shoveling compost into the wheelbarrow, lugging it twenty feet down hill, the project part clearing for winter horse manure, and part to stir the compost. Kneeling to see closer: dew on the marigolds. I-90 east, torn as always between Cape Cod and Boston.
Let us remember the dead, and remember the dead once remembered by our dead, who are more than dead to us because they are forgotten.
A poem is a kind of reply.
I read too many ghost stories as a kid, they got mixed up with the New Testament - Jesus dying and coming back, basically - and everything after that has been trying to retell those stories in a way that makes storytelling feels less like life-or-death, more just fun, like James Clavell's Shogun.
Street parties in Athens, we wore masks and got drunk, but I repeat myself.
Let us all read Derrida, genuflect unto Frank O'Hara, and take Thérèse of Lisieux seriously as a writer. Kill Buddha they say then try to sell you a Buddha statue, so hypocrisy is not uniquely Christian. Korean rice dishes, white wine. That little restaurant in Burlington, a window in a wall, neon and no seating, where you get cheap noodles, carry them to the lake, and eat them remembering a woman you love who is definitely not coming back.
Yet growing up - in gym class - you didn't worry you'd get picked last nor care did you get picked first, you had other things to worry about, like how the word "mountain" sounded like some mountains but not others (it had to do with how jagged they were), and was there any significance to "four and twenty blackbirds" beyond the metrically obvious.
All this to say, after order and the end of order, what?
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