A dead man’s photo peers over my bed
The silent witness who lives in my blood.
Absence is the soul’s starvation diet.
I have been hungry since before I was born.

Plan for madness to heal you.
Plan for sadness to fly.
Plan for hope estranging your happiness.
They surely will.

The finite hours and days,
The years,
Dissolve with relentless measure
And apathy.

This will grieve your heart but release it.
You must not pull back: too late too late to stop.
You carelessly left your spirit alone,
Now seconds plunder its fey secrets

And take all.
Life perpetuates a feeble trick on the frail mind:
A creation of memes
Moved by predestination

To obscurity.
The clock lightly ticks and then cocks its gun.
Aims between your eyes.
Are you ready?

I found this poem a nasty wrenching process. I was using James Galvin’s Post-Modernism as the scaffold. It was an abstract poem, slippery. I seem to be focused on mortality of late. I don’t set out to write it. It’s just what comes out. But this one felt like harder than most. Words tested, words discarded. I tried to follow the syllable and word structure of each line. I succeeded except for the first stanza and the last two lines.

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