Daily Archives: August 17, 2018

The House Falling

This is a house
falling and 
so many under the roof
will be compressed
into somebody’s unfortunate
consequence

and now
and then an escapee will 
be asked, “wasn’t it worth it
to be out from under”

and they
won’t know what to say
with their flattened faces
grown long and broken from
the trauma of having been 
inside the rotten house
as it fell.

This is a house
falling and
all over the neighborhood
bricks are being thrown into
the yards and through
the windows and

look at all the people
bleeding and calling out
for shelter and protection and
they are asked

“isn’t it nice
to have light from where 
that nasty building used to be”

and they won’t understand 
after being blinded by 
flying glass.

This is a house
falling and 
noise and brown dust
are choking and strangling
people who were hoping
to be heard in the 
stillness after its collapse

and they are asked “are you
better off now that it’s not
holding you back” and

they try to answer in the 
affirmative for those
who were outside already
and missed all the damage
from the moment the damned
house fell, the kids and others
who will benefit in the absence
of the fallen house

while the ones who were inside
and knew it was going to fall
accept death and the weight of debris as
the price of someone else’s hope.


August 16

1.
Too often now I stare at a screen
and try to recall what it was like
when I could easily change blank
into not blank.

Sometimes I’d make
a good thing, more often I would not. 
However it ended, at least there was 
a result. Back then emptiness

didn’t stare at me like an adversary
the way it does now. The challenge now
is to survive, more or less, 
while fighting the whiteness of that void.

2.
Yesterday, Aretha Franklin passed.
Today daylight is still sagging
in the absence
of her possibility. 

Eighty years ago to the day
Robert Johnson passed. The moon
still hasn’t recovered all of the melody
it loaned him.  

Somewhere in between them
Elvis Presley died — same day,
different song; I know people miss him
but what song we lost that day, I can’t imagine.

3.
I’m not ready yet.  If I go tomorrow
the only song I’ll take with me
is a small one, a pebble in a shoe
shaken out after a good day walking,

forgotten once the immediate pain 
subsides. A tuneless whistle 
to get by one of life’s little discomforts.
Right now, that’s all I’ve got.

So back into the empty white I go
to blotch it up then read the portents there,
turn them into full-blown glory. I want the earth itself
to mourn me. It may not happen. I will try.