Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poem Yesterday, Poem Today


The sound of the needle
inches above the phonograph,
the record stopped.
The clash of snow falling
in a moonlit forest on a winter's night.
The song of a sultry voice
after the pianist has left the lounge,
and the janitor long since brushed away 
the last dust from the shoes of the evening's dancers.
The quiet only a blind man knows
when no one else is close enough to touch
and all else is stillness.

The Death of the Author

The death of the author was regrettable,
but inevitable. It happened quickly,
his life punctuated quite literally.
His fingers left the keyboard thoughtlessly
as carefree as they ever had.
The final keystroke sealed his fate,
a single fingertip, a half-filthy key
that has never seen a lock.
And yet, as sure as any that turned 
to keep the monsters in, or out
it trapped him, closed the way forever
to whatever intentions he had meant
to put into the words he typed.
It is certain they were good and
it is likely the road lead where such things 
usually do.

The funeral was beautiful
millions came, bought and sold,
each reader brought his or her own voice
colored by his or her own experienced.
Some read within the lines.
Some read so far out 
the work was hardly recognizable.
The epitaph read,
"New York Times best seller."

And the author, while hardly Lazarus,
waited a few days until the aftermath
had settled into the dust of time,
then stood, shoved his hands into his pockets
and strode on down the road less traveled by
toward the next little death,
the next gravestone, the next laurel, the next trophy
to set on his bookshelf, tucked between
a pair of angelic bookends
that at second glance,
may have been gargoyles.

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