This is a shakedown;
I’m shaking out everything I know;
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Forget that! Where’s Cummings?
Gone. Dead. Buried – the last good sense
slipped out of a breast pocket on the way to his grave.

Don’t look so grim — the world’s not that grave.
It’s a pleasure dome not yet repossessed or burnt down;
Kubla Khan declared it, with good sense.

And how was he to know
that, feverish and dreaming, Cooleridge
would imagine a river, and a woman awaiting Jack Nicholson?

But Jack’s on the prowl, and Michelle Pfieffer
sits at home while some poor sap gets gnawed into their grave,
some new level of Dante’s Inferno: spending eternity with Poe,

a thin, whispy spirit whose heart is so down,
broken, buried alive by woe, that he can’t possibly know
anything the soul can’t sense.

I don’t have that uncommon sense,
not like Mr. Ed, or Ann Landers.
Hey! How was I to know?

I was sitting on Heisenberg’s grave,
waiting for the other shoe to drop, to fall down
some other reality while I shared a Cuban cigar with Ferlinghetti.

Just then, Dickenson
falls through, and Heisenberg will discover we can sense
what’s going on, but not velocity, nor the direction down

the tubes. What is Asimov’s
spin on all this? Whispering grave
words, he tells us what we can’t know;

That despite evolution, everybody knows
C.K. Williams
was right; that death is a thing born of desire, and the grave

is the last thing that makes any sense.
It’s a small, intimate party, where everyone soars like Michael Jordan,
and is ready to throw down.

It’s not nearly as grave as we’d think, which we’d recognize if we had any sense.
Maybe the only ones who know for sure are Fergus, and Kinnell.
Waiting patiently for us, Lincoln sits on a rail fence, stretching forever, weary and worn down.


3 Comments so far

  1.    marti on January 24, 2013 8:43 pm

    Ah, pretty sneaky…changing the end words that are names. You’re more gutsy (and creative) than I am.

  2.    jelyon on January 24, 2013 8:45 pm

    Yes, but isn’t it a bit dreadful, sneakiness aside? 😉

  3.    marti on January 25, 2013 4:59 am

    No where as dreadful as the VERY first sestina I ever read, nor the first one I wrote.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind


Embed Plugin created by Cheap Web Hosting - 302 Found


The document has moved here.

Apache Server at Port 80