Elegy

Peering between my hands through
the smoky windows of my heart
rippled with time and
smeared with enthusiastic betrayal
I note the hand-lettered sign:
“Closed, due to the death of faith,”
succumbing after a valiant
ten-year or
ten-day
or was it ten-minute?
battle with cynicism.
Surely, it was environmental,
exposure to poison with a half-life
measured in heartbreaks,
the too-giddy pallbearers
Greed, Fear, Ignorance,
and a persistent Lack of Vision.
There are no mourners;
it had been dying all along,
all alone.

Curtain Call

Greasepaint sunsets and flat trees
stand as background for one’s
preferred illusions,
and the players wear black
in contrast to their silver eyes.
I shield my own from the spotlight
that demands I recite
when all I can do is open and close
my lips, mouth gaping like
a drying fish in pitiless sunshine
and for my performance I take
a bow to thunderous silence of
the armless throng who are all, too,
hooked through the eye,
my hands scraping the thorny stage.

Exeunt all.

Great Expectations

There is a voice inside of me
that says I will feel this way
as long as I keep expecting people
to be me
knowing full well that they aren’t
that they can’t
that there is a fundamental misalignment of my poles
and the Greenwich Mean,
and it is, mean.
Who was it who had the lover’s quarrel
with the world? He and I would’ve
gotten on famously
if only I could remember his name
if only my heart could have become
harder than my head
if only I didn’t believe the shortest
distance between two people was
a mere lifetime of pain and an uncomfortable
clearing of the throat
if only it were better to have
loved the world and lost
than to have thought it a bastard all along,
but, seriously, I have my doubts.