When the philosophers died,
their ideas died with them;
when the writers died,
their stories died with them,
& all that was left was the Here & Now.
She’d always said never again,
the make-up never quite covering the bruises.
When Ruby was placed in her satin box,
the artist of the dead made her look better
than she ever had in life.
She left them incentives in her will—
requests that would lead them to discover
greater things in themselves.
When he thought he had forever to live,
he strolled through life;
when he knew the day of his death,
& did not stop,
till the last dot
XXXon the ellipsis
XXXXXXof his timeline.
When the musicians died,
their music died.
Recording the past
was against the laws of the present,
so that the future could not be
dictated by it.
To me, family was every kind of Heaven:
celestial, terrestrial, telestial.
The father, the sun,
mother, the moon,
children, the stars.
Mormon Heaven was one of progressing personhood,
Protestant Heaven, of angelic spirithood,
for we were perfected in Christ’s sainthood.
I learned that babies were in need of baptism.
I learned that it was the dead.
Mormon Heaven was not a state of mind,
but on a planet; God was not a spirit,
but a Deity of flesh & bone, who had been,
as we once were.
Mormons reached outside themselves;
we sought the answers amongst ourselves.
We were an island with walls,
& they were the whole damn world.
Because this is how I feel about Andy’s “art”.
On Andy Warhol
You took Marilyn’s face,
& the collective who
designed the Campbell’s soup label.
What did you do but copy
Hollywood’s creation &
someone else’s designs,
immortalizing processed soup
& a real dish?
Making Love to the Max
She saw the American world as a stewardess,
the European one as a Navy officer,
but when she saw Max,
she saw the entire world.
She was minimalist,
in her not-so-little-black dress;
he was a maximumist,
in his double-breasted,
they made 2.
Red, white, & blue had turned his heart purple
his eyesight dim, his limb
but he came home to a child
whose future been fighting for.
She was shampoo,
for she cleaned him up,
He was conditioner,
for he softened her,
tho’ they spent their nights
getting tangled and dirty.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
She loved crosswords,
he, word searches,
they found the clues to the mystery
that was their unsolvable life.
Alpha and Omega
To the rich:
The first shall be last.
To the poor:
The last shall be first.
The first shall be last,
The last shall be first,
says the HappilyEverAfter.
Says the OnceUponATime,
You were born to die.
Says the HappilyEverAfter,
You must die to be born again.
Because limericks are fun!
The Audacity of Nope
Mrs. Pope got tired of hearing “Nope”,
so much so, she couldn’t cope,
so she became a customer service rep,
telling herself “Yep”,
& she no longer needed Mr. Pope.
He floated on the stream of consciousness,
narrating his way through choppy sentences,
dialoguing his way through longer ones,
becoming a playwright.
The Carol Joyce Effect
He was her rough draft when she married him,
her working draft during their marriage,
her final draft when they divorced
(& heavily edited at that),
for he was a man of much fewer words.
Every day is a poem,
the title comes not
until the end.
She was given the crudest of pencils,
paper that was scrap;
she grew up hardscrabbling,
but what she could write was limitless.
Her birth was a drama,
her life, a comedy,
her death, a tragedy,
but her life after death–
that was the happily ever after.