A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
“It seems that when there’s a death it takes
a little bit of our amusement away.”
— my daughter as a child
I’m packing enough
for the impending flea market: We are
vendors of jeweled dice,
peddlers of old signatures’ pen-edges,
bare second-hand divans in the rain.
Preparing the circumspect steps of transfer —
death, of course, but also stealth,
eviction, dissolution, maturation.
I bring the lonely pickle dish with
social purpose almost no one means now.
Tinned French Great War bandages
still give off scent,
mildewed, medicinal, soaped, or sweated.
Can I lay by for the end of the world
just these oddities and a paperclip,
maybe a softball bat to establish a history
of obedience (Go outside and play)
and fair play (Play fair)?
If I have to grow outdated and faint
into a trader’s showtrunk,
I know I’ll consist of scores
of diaries priced for less than written value.
Sell part of me but not my whole
soliloquy. Consider toy-sweat on a doll dress:
One side of life is rougher;
one side of taffeta outshines the other.
Published in Certain Uncollected Poems, Ostrakon Press, 2012.