Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Last Poem

My last poem
will walk under storm-green skies
past haunted duplexes
through echoing culverts
through knee-high grass.
It will walk from New Jersey Pine Barrons
and coast up Gravity Hill;
it will walk from mother's horror
to father's death;
it will walk from the myth of Saturn
to the mouth of the whirlwind.
It will walk all this way
to sit on my chest,
some cat-like Buddha,
to flip through the uneven pages
of my unjustified heart.

My last poem and my first poem
will sit on the front porch
and tell tall tales
about the neighbors.
They'll compare rhetoric
and the scope of their rhythm.
"You've got a charming rhyme scheme,"
my last poem will say;
"You've got a mysterious metaphysic,"
my first poem will reply.
And they'll write sketches of the wind
while drinking green tea
with a pinch of fresh mint
and a spoon-full of local honey.

My last poem
may have forgotten every cherished image;
it may have lost
its connection to each borrowed symbol
and 40 years worth of repetends.
It may find itself confronted
by each unfinished stanza,
every half-begun epic,
each muse in passing
and muse in waiting -
each shopgirl, waitress,
movie star, pew mate,
class mate, anima projection -
all the false goddesses
and true harridans,
all the true goddesses
and faithless lovers.
It may have forgotten
their names in eternity.
It may have lost its breath
and its measured lines.
It may not want a song
or need one more sip of beer.

My last poem
will shake your hand and greet you.
It will welcome you like an old friend.
It will walk with you anywhere.

4 comments:

Dr. Omed said...

I really, really like this, my friend--May I post and link back on the Tent Show?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Very nice indeed, Jonah. I especially like the "unjustified heart" and the whole conversational tone of this poem. may you could read it aloud and put an MP3 clip next to it?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Typo typo! It should read:
maybe you could read it aloud....

Dave said...

Here from Dr. Omed. Terrific poem! (My first of the day.)