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Shadows

Shadow town, shadow city
He sees what was there before
as much as he sees now
(like a lurid wall of contorted noise)

That the sound of his voice could survive him
is a horror to him
When asked to remember she tries
but she’s neither particularly smart or very kind

How did it come to this?
Their most intimate quarrels in this place
here, before this court’s indifference,
like some past wish

Sooner or later they were gone—
the friends, the lovers gone
He sees her now as though
she were another man’s wife

“Here’s another bone numbingly, dull seminar”
she thinks “Why don’t I get to do what I want?”
You were born in 1952, the seer tells him—
that’s the year of panic, the year of the dragon

Some find him boorish, brutish, sullen
Others said he was withdrawn but elegant
“As for people, you can take ‘em or leave ‘em”
she said, “(but they’ll always leave you)”

Cancer was the evil eye
the curse upon all of them
He can’t control what she understands
or fails to understand

Dad would study until the day before the exam
and then, while his frantic friends panicked,
he’d take in a movie the night before
Unlike me, he’d always get an A

Why must anchor women on TV
smile like idiots no matter what they say?
The thought of her with another was gnarly,
disgusting, freakish

There was a profound Zen monk
so odd, piercing and wild
the others could barely understand him
So they called him “Twisted Cucumber”

There are thousands of gradations of green
If you look down from this mountain
in the early Spring
Just look at the tops of those trees

Comforting, backward, middlebrow thoughts
are hard for him, both empty and strange...
He came to us as a stranger and,
still the sad stranger, he stays

 

 

-May 17, 2014-