Tag: Death

Back on Planet Earth

My writing has been pretty “meh” for a few days. But I keep suiting up and showing up, as the saying goes, even when the result was this:

“Are you panicked about the pancakes?” Jill asked Oscar. They were waiting out the rain in a seedy dance club that hadn’t seen a good night since 1985.

“Of course I’m panicked about the pancakes!” Oscar replied. He shook like a leaf in the wind. “I panic about everything, but when you throw pancakes in the mix, I turn into a wreck!”

There wasn’t much more to see in this particular scene, so we’re going to move on even though Oscar “Skinner” Canteloupe has an interesting backstory and a remarkable backside…heyyy ohhh! *rimshot*

So I was pleasantly surprised when, in the midst of ruminating about death, loss, and relationships (par for the course), I came up with something not half bad:

Back on Planet Earth

“I ate a butterfly,” my son confessed
late one night when the moon hid her
face and the stars had twinkle-toed
their way into the Great Beyond where
giant creatures soared through interstellar
space, a comforting prospect for me
and my dutiful, sky-gazing child.

“I’ve heard worse,” I told him. “Hell,
I’ve done worse, though butterfly
eating isn’t the best thing in the world.
You’re mom would have had a fit.”

I remember when she cried in the backyard
and I kissed her eyes until she stopped.
She told me about memories she couldn’t
have had, images of a past life she lived
under violent clouds and massive radiation.
We all agreed that she was from another planet.

My son and I think that she must be one
of the space creatures now, her cavernous
mouth agape as she drifts in the cold darkness,
lonely until she bumps until another creature
she suspect is me but isn’t, and she sighs
an alien sigh and flaps her dark wings.

Back here on planet Earth, we struggle.
We etch our memories in sand, knowing
they will fade with rushing water and wind.
Some of us eat butterflies. The rest of us
learn to forgive such things and try to smile.

Anniversary Song

A little rock n’ roll, a little death….

Anniversary Song

When I closed the shades,
I didn’t expect you’d die,
but die you did–

die, die, my darling,
you sang to yourself,
the sheet music of pain
scattered about your apartment
and the lot of us illiterate
to its language, the one girl
who might have helped,
who had a good ear for it–

could pick out a tune of agony
and reproduce it with panache–

her head was up somewhere
in the good clouds and didn’t bother
looking down or around,
the music of the spheres proving
too much for her, commanding
her attention with a secret hush-hush
show heaven had been talking about for ages…

…but you went, didn’t you?
Urged the drummer to launch
into “When the Levee Breaks,”
confusing the angelic host but getting
the demonic hoard up and moving quite nicely,
all together now, all you need is hate. Hate, hate, hate…

You once prayed to John Lennon to save you,
but Lennon couldn’t save himself,
couldn’t even so much as float a fucking feather
across the room, so he’s out of the deity-running.
Who else did you pray to? Blue Oyster Cult, as best I remember,
who weren’t so much down with suicide as they were
about making money and smoking a metric ton of weed,
getting high as an elephant’s eye and floating
down the River Styx without oars and hoping for the best.