In Memoriam

A gray, gray mist fills my open mouth with silence,
for I have entered the damp slumber of a death.

One last horn blast has grumped off through the fog,
which settles now in an endless, dimensionless damp blanket
over the gray, gray sea where I float
(humming soundlessly)
on a tube of rubber:

a tube losing air in one thin, desperate stream
through a tiny hole that hisses and bubbles,
bubble and hiss,
as I bob indirectly into a gray, gray forgetfulness.

A knife
(which for a while
I stabbed into my arm and thigh and hand and eye -
searching in vain for pain, or blood)
now trails in my gray, gray fingers.

And I wonder if a knife could want,
if it would want to feel
the gray, gray rubber split beneath its razor edge -

to at long last sink me,
into the gray and waiting sea.


  1. One of the greatest joys of being an artist is that over time I have developed ways of spewing out my emotions that many people don't have. While as an art teacher I find myself asserting again and again that this is a faculty that can be developed in anyone, I think that until that happens the artists among us offer a sort of a vicarious venting service.

    As one friend rightly surmised in an email, this poem was written in a dark moment last night as I found myself losing a little eye-water over the slow death of my marriage.

    The happy irony of this is that in the creative act, there is joy. And while I feel that dissecting a poem murders it, I thought that with respect to the loving concern of friends, I ought to at least post a comment and remind them that art is a process... an ongoing string of passionate moments kneaded together, rolled out, and baked into the most delicious pie.

    Even some of the most scrumptious recipes, however, call for a little salt.


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