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Thread: Past the Cemetery

  1. #1
    THE FRIENDLY GHOST Active Member Rank CASPER's Avatar
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    Past the Cemetery

    It's nice here on the shady side of the street.
    Our small, outdoor table
    Faces a building
    Golden with late afternoon sunlight
    Under a cloudless summer sky.

    Together with daily horrors,
    Life doles out these small pleasures:
    A platter of raw oysters on ice,
    A ripe lemon sliced in half,
    And a glass of chilled white wine.

    If the couple holding hands at the next table
    Are now in a hurry to leave,
    Let them go ahead.
    We'll linger over another bottle
    And then go looking for a bed ourselves.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Past the Cemetery

    Jung Doubts

    It may not be possible to go deeper, beyond
    or beneath anything but birds and their
    little thoughts feathered among the leaves.
    Perhaps we're stuck in the bruise of broad day
    with its donkey cart clang and silence like a choir
    of gestures
    or an aerial view of schoolgirls spilling from a school.
    Perhaps we will open the inner door and find no stairs
    or an immense frozen stone pointing at its old friend
    the moon of our echo
    going round and round with little trays of sweets
    remembered and given
    casually
    in the service of regret.
    And though the deep rooms knock and sometimes sing
    we can't help thinking what if our minds aren't really
    anything? What if no one's there, dear lady
    who lifts her arms up to our own, dear contused old man
    whose tears run in the blackened street
    we climb, convinced the beloved is behind us and our lives
    before us in a shadow of the shadow of the light?
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

  3. #3
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    Re: Past the Cemetery

    Knuckling Down

    Oh for the gift of eptitude. No job too big or small or awkward.
    As nifty with a reciprocating saw as with a humble bradawl.
    Adept at fitting unfamiliar widgets instinctively in place.
    No ceiling, joist, masonry or quarry tile an impediment.
    Marking out a rebated joint one day, knuckling down
    to a cavity tray the next; checking the leak from a valve
    spindle, then flush-mounting a socket outlet nearby.
    Keeping the show on the road, the jets in the air,
    the world's motor lubricated, its axis oiled; waving
    aside the clients' plaudits, though their bafflement
    is absolute when that guiding hand withdraws.
    But by then their lives are set to rights: piped water
    sourced again, heat coursing through radiators, the car's
    smutty engine blasting off with rejuvenated smoothness.

    Then wrapping up a job, settling the tools
    in the metal box, folding paint-drooled
    drop-cloths, snapping the padlock back on
    the garden shed, hosing down your splattered boots,
    changing into a fabric-softened cotton polo shirt.
    Even clicking the cap on the felt-tip, after
    you sign off on the planning application.
    Filing away invoices, certificates, receipts
    once the online tax form is completed
    and the Send button flicked with relief.
    Unwonted moments when all the pieces
    cohere, loose ends tie up, quandaries resolve.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Past the Cemetery

    The Reflection of All Visible Light

    The faces are white.
    The flowers white.

    I drive around town
    expecting the familiar—deer
    lashed to trucks,
    kids on skates, the metal scent
    of winter—

    but an empty stadium
    floods with light, a sky full of geese
    fails.

    Time is white.
    The yard white.

    I turn in the driveway, white
    as the butcher's bar of soap.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Past the Cemetery

    Down Through Dark and Emptying Streets

    Open a new window.
    Go and Google yourself.
    Open Facebook and update
    all trace of yourself.

    While you search MySpace,
    sync your apps, correct a wiki,
    blah blah on your blog,
    stream and twitter, you see

    such-and-such has got in touch,
    requesting you as a Facebook friend.
    And the name's slow-dawned gravity
    widens the window, weirds and sends

    you plunging into the déjà-vu
    of a phlegm-skied twilight
    with unreal soldiers on the walls
    lit by fire-red and air-blue streetlights;

    sends you trampling through the fank
    and crumble and Regal packets
    of your hedgeless estate
    in a tufty and tarnished leather jacket,

    flappered and frazzled paisley shirt,
    scuffed and shagged-out oxblood boots;
    walking away from your mother, the screech
    of your sister's wee black flute,

    past the clanking monkey bars,
    swings and roundabout of a dog-dark
    dungeon of a playground,
    through a sinister elm-guarded car park;

    cutting to the main street through
    the grounds of a windowless factory,
    past the pock-marked and Jesus Lives
    walls of a public library

    while the sky turns to liquorice,
    dull cardigan and tobacco fumes
    embered with persimmon blushes,
    melon-flowers, mango blooms;

    walking until you catch a hint
    of her toe-to-heel click-clack
    and follow her past scuppled shops,
    dead-end alleys, hokey flats,

    past head-the-ball hardnuts driving by
    in souped-up Cortinas and Capris
    hunting their prey; and she's driving you
    doolally, knocked at the knees

    as you follow her past the bookies'
    arcade machines and nudgers'
    Fisher Price lights and beep-bop-bings;
    past the queue of scratching pudgers

    in the chip shop where a pouty girl
    shovels cod with a lizard-eye
    love bite, Princess Diana pendant
    and powdered-over black eye;

    past chain-smoking bars with ducktape
    on the cracks of their panes
    silhouetted by the awful size
    and dormant metal of dockyard cranes;

    and you're all hearts and flowers
    with each step into the square,
    where she turns so you can finger
    her pampas bleached and hair-

    sprayed hair, and she says Hey there,
    in her clown voice, is that a spanner
    in yer works? under the twenty-foot
    high frown of an Ulster Says No banner

    and her rib-cage is delicate white
    as flour on a fillet of fish
    while her lips, still hot with sausage,
    salt and malt vinegar, mouth a wish

    and clarty newspapers carry news
    of the weekend's nil-nils
    windblown with Special Brew
    cans and Styrofoam cups as you thrill

    to her octopus fingers,
    the probe and prod of her plum of a tongue,
    your teeth and her teeth tapping together,
    holding breath until kingdom come.

    She asks will all this last forever?
    against the dun Woolworth's door.
    Now your hard drive hums and haws.
    You waver between Confirm and Ignore.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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    Re: Past the Cemetery

    Dark Spots

    In the late nineteenth century, some photographers
    claimed not only to capture images
    of loved ones from beyond
    the grave, but to be able to photograph memories
    of the deceased, their auras still glowing
    around the bereaved,
    as if to capture light reflected off a body could preserve
    that body over time as Beatrice explains
    the presence of the dark
    spots on the moon to Dante in Paradiso, how
    the brightness of a celestial body
    reveals the angelic
    gladness that quickens the body, letizia that shines as joy
    shines through an eye. Visit Fort
    Courage—Take Pictures
    of the Past, the billboards across Arizona advised,
    and at the base of the mountain in
    New Mexico, a note taped
    to the gasoline pump read, Hold tight to your money—the wind
    will carry it away. In the snapshot of
    my grandmother in her
    casket, wearing the Elizabethan collar and perm'd
    curls she never wore, my mother
    gazes through her
    to a planet she always knew existed but which, without
    the darkness, she could never see
    before. They call
    some bruises shiners like the violet stars of the Rose of Sharon
    that come out in the morning and shine
    all day in their leaf-black
    shade, shade carved into the yard like fish scales covering
    the sarcophagus in Sant'Apollinare in
    Classe near Ravenna
    or the stiff, veined hands of the sycamore stretched wide
    in applause, the Italian gesture
    of mourning.
    .






    In a perfect world, our dreams will be fulfilled. There would be no hard work or planning ahead, because everything you want would be given to you. In the real world, where we all live, rewards must be earned. The problem most people have is in the day-to-day details of accomplishment. Accomplishment takes a lot of time, sacrifice and effort, and that’s the real rub for a lot of people. But, as Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

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