DIRGE II, the afterlife smells like ghosts; softened spectacle [7 dancers]

Everyone slows down and locks the rearview mirror when the ambulance arrives.

Demise crosshatches the body’s sleeves.

How funny I look without skin.

Lacking the memory of other cells, the cell is lonely.

Inconsolable, the violas slip the page.

A gamelan can be ordered on Amazon.

Rumors perforate.

No one called once I gave up color.

It was an exercise in inflection before I straggled here.

Metaphors and allegory atrophied.

I lost my hypothesis, so I opened the divine with a can opener.

I didn’t want to spoil.

A new language can’t be created overnight, and I was tired of being a pronoun.

Burdens design their own burdening.

The one who overdosed stopped looking for God.

There were questionable assumptions.

The cornfield collected us in silk.

Sleep doesn’t even know.

Idiosyncrasies reproduce exponentially.

I’m stranger than before.

He said you’re a sheet of glass in a crowded city.

He said bring the small turtle because it knows how to hide.

If we see each other at the border, don’t say anything.

War can’t explain daylight.

It’s your right not to watch.

It’s more difficult to play dead than you think.

Tell the children they’re statues but can’t sculpt their own until the game is over, until they return to school.

Tell tomorrow you’re not as selfish as yesterday.   

Protect the unrolled parchment from incendiary material.

Things here don’t hurt so much.

Grief is a different color, and sadness doesn’t own a house.

Strangely, one arranges another.

I raised my hand to ask questions, but everyone left for happy hour, somewhere less confusing.

I’ve forgotten how to spell.

No one will find me with autocorrect.

The field of dandelions is clover—the lover, over.

Events take place in ellipses.

The afterlife smells like ghosts, an echo in syntax’s wire cage.

The ghosts advise, go slow down the corridor, climb over your missing feet.

The day job had the subject scathed, losing stage.

Here you don’t need your stolen teeth, a lucky rabbit’s foot, all that trigonometry.

There were kinetic misunderstandings—a fallout of composure.

You should have changed the batteries in the fire alarms.

Someone more qualified will complete the laborious paper chain.

There will be semantic delay.

Plato, what did Socrates say?

Hemlock was his choice.

We’re going somewhere—trains with no passengers.

The breathtaking panoramic scenery—volumes of photos no one prints or saves.

At the next stop someone might say something like Bedouins read stones, pitched stairs escalate, or the mannequins split our dreams.

Leading a camel to water doesn’t make anyone noble.

Even if we sing in languages we can’t comprehend.

At the next stop I might feel like going home.

At the next house, I may mean everything I don’t remember.

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8 Responses to DIRGE II, the afterlife smells like ghosts; softened spectacle [7 dancers]

  1. Myke Todd says:

    Though I never sing in foreign languages, I am often found listening to many other than English. Home is either a good place from start from or go to at the end of a day.

  2. Steven Leek says:

    Using common syntax yet constructing statements that are surprising for their action or subject in juxtaposition, (I just realized I’m using MFA language that never helped me write a poem, sorry)

    • Krysia Jopek says:

      Thank you for reading my new work, Steven, and for your much-appreciated comment!

      I didn’t think the language was MFA or academic–just incredibly astute and knowledgeable about poetics.

      Again, thank you–for reading and taking the time to respond here.

      Best wishes,

  3. Peter says:

    One million poems
    The incongruent adjunct levies
    Words, if they are thought
    Sick of not being
    The crag in the cliff folded over
    Fern, heather, lichen, moss
    The ingénue slips into rain, desert, fruit
    Tied to the whipping post, oblivious
    The ice cream truck’s voluminous screed, stringently omnivorous,
    Desperately loving summertime’s solitude.

    2. One million poems more
    On the little day broke
    Withering its reticence
    A misty obligation
    The taught, bound hay bale shimmers the field
    To be scorched over
    Do not commingle
    The little day in the night.

    3. Five-thirty pm
    The oblivion law time forgot
    One billion of them tied into a knot
    Left beside the river Styx like snakes
    While we think we might remember a time upon when
    That’s the law time forgot, however
    Nasty, brutish, and short it be
    The oblivion law we laboriously eschew
    The infinitesimal stupidity in which philosophers dwell
    Being nothing more than a damp, shallow wish
    For the billion fragments they pretend they might be
    With the tears we shed for our own losses, spent
    That ever’ evening’s news carries in, perpetually
    Grateful for one million poems that knock
    On my floor.

    4. I lost the power
    Imagination sent one
    In a difficult time
    The insidious omen
    Sent my love higher

    Number Five
    Verses struck down
    The staged fear

    The thunder as the night
    Beaches that make Beauty bashful
    In silhouette, in profile [mezzo e oscuro]
    Little feet of love shuffle
    Sand over the book.

    Oh, sweet Antonio
    Why cannot the Graces suffice,
    The palmettos, unravel?

    You can no longer find her
    Anywhere among lightening
    Her kittens adore you
    The weather returns.

    5 . The voyeur imagines a poem
    The book fails to yield
    A pouncing cat frolics
    In a fading sundown’s shadow
    The promised eternity
    Obviously perfect
    To a voyeur in the stacks
    Stuck in words that evoke, entice, enthrall.

    • Krysia Jopek says:

      Thank you so much for this beauty in response to my poetry. I’ve missed you here. I hope you are settling in.

      I’ll respond to your writing probably tomorrow night–I’m brain dead now and finalizing DIRGE. I’m editing VIII. Super-excited!

      Thank you for always reading my poetry and for commenting.

      Much appreciated!


    • Krysia Jopek says:

      I just checked the date on this comment. Somehow I missed the email notification.


      Last week was an insane week. I can’t even re-think/re-hash it/vent.

      Happy Labor Day!

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