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.



As she lay there
under the debris,
bleeding to death,
I kept saying
the dumbest kind
of cliched things.

Stay with me.

Help is coming.

Look into my eyes.

You’re gonna be okay.

As it felt the life
departing from hers
my hand’s grip
instinctively tightened.

The feeling
in my heart
of utter futility
as the blood
trickled gently
from lips
which, seconds ago
were trying so profoundly
to tell me,

I ask myself on waking,