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The Unwalled City

“Against other things it is possible to obtain security, but when it comes to death
we all live in an unwalled city”—Epicurus

                1.
A train clacks through darkness
past a derailed train in darkness, broken stops
The coin in his head
can only guess at its other side
Ferocious and deranged means dangerous
Most of them don’t imagine or love anything much
This leaves them unmoved, inviolable and untouched
                2.
When water freezes the chemical reactions
needed to create life stop
If only the actors would annihilate themselves
The survivor lugs his corpse in her head
and do what they’re told
The harsh impulse may pass before it begins
Let’s make it stop now, shall we?
                3.
With his right ankle on his left leg
just above his knee, he’d sit and watch TV
If he saw something he liked
he’d sometimes laugh and wiggle his left foot unconsciously
False promises of rapture, exhausted by the effort
night after loveless night—
too old, blighted, lonely and afraid
                4.
He found her intelligence prickly and abrasive—
difficult to stay together, impossible to leave,
universal in sympathy, they’re outcasts by nature
a rancor that develops, naturally when two people live together—
gaunt and haggard, more hawk-like than ever,
this ceaseless process of work, creation, despair,
invention, laughter and destruction
                5.
She tries one key than another
struts her air guitar as though I can’t see
The seductress, the would be fuck-hole of Forest Hills
isn’t fun anymore, and still can’t sing
If I wake up beside you will life still be bleak?
It was always bleak, even when I couldn’t see...
Dressed in the French manner, she flaunts her tin jewelry
                6.
She reduces her anguish by taking many lovers
She knows just how the tricks are done
Wrinkles start at the elbows and knees
I once saw her rub her face with magic lotion
and her wrinkles miraculously faded into blush
This one has a remarkable military aptitude
but his intelligence is less than robust
                7.
Sometimes I don’t know which I hate more—
to wear suits or the pricks who wear them
He has a distinct horror of polite,
feminine, diplomatic conversation
She speaks of the past like it was now
of people long gone as though they still live
the exalted and pathetic, pleasure loving dead

 

-August 6, 2011-