COSTUME (poem)

Yeah yeah, you could say
it’s a “costume” that I wear,
but check out
the Buddhist monks,
the suit and ties,
the tradesmen,
the chefs,
the professors,
the beggars…

Our costumes
are a form
of communication
which continue to be
in our old age
and even in death,
where we get to play
the role of the egoless
skin-encased bundle
of bones and meat
all dressed up
with nowhere to go
(other than
the cemetery
or crematorium,

It’s then that others
who knew us
take the liberty
of dressing us up
in their own minds.

They sometimes
even go so far
as to select a star
just for you
from the night sky
which can act
as a kind of costume
for your soul,
which, even though
it’s far too old-school
or flashy for your taste,
you’re forced to wear
whether you like it or not,
until it either deconstructs
with decaying memory,
or implodes,
creating the right sort
of carefree
tie dye stylings
in which you can have that
last smoke
before finally going
au naturel
and gratefully
subsuming the light.



Your silence used to confuse me.

On those first evenings
we spent together
I used to try to remedy my confusion
by telling you my views
and asking you
all sorts of tiresome questions.

After only a few evenings of this
you turned to me and said
    – You know, you don’t have to talk.
which seemed a bit blunt,
and may have offended me
if it weren’t for your eyes,
at the same time, intimating
    – I just enjoy being with you,
so stop trying to impress me, fool.

and then your arm
guiding mine around you,
my hand into yours,
as we curled up on your bed
and watched T.V.

Later on, I recall,
you got up, went to the bathroom,
and re-entered wearing your new lingerie:
    – So, tell me …
you asked, as you struck a pose,
    – what do you think?