DIRGE XII, amplifications [9 dancers]

Perian Springs Press, November 2022

The composition ruptures, spills—causes teetering.

Not everyone will cooperate with effect.


Talk wanted to talk.

The subject of the story will say no—held hostage in an explanation.


There was no translation when it was sung.

The vaulted ceilings amplified a dirge for mortality, a lament for not coming back.


The chorus stayed very quiet, balanced on pins—mesmerizing vertically.


Lilacs became wind.

Confidentiality shattered.


Our watches are broken, and mourning

doves need more time on gray roofs.


The garden was betrayed for sorrow.

It can own you sometimes.

Despair has a resume a mile long.

The brain couldn’t be brought to obey.


Morning glories, striped violet and white, climbing the privacy wall

have closed without daylight.

The moonflowers preen white trumpet blooms, hallucinogenic.

Night smells like heliotrope.


The perpendicular houses were almost sleeping.

Apertures shut over aluminum ledges.


Voyeurism isn’t always creepy. She said

I wanted to see how someone else lives.


The middle-aged man counts his money in the freezer.

Ballet dancers don’t have one leg longer.

Spines lack perfect symmetry, vertebrae;

one’s backbone in ugly situations.


That was before the ethical fallout—before the police arrived. 


Maybe the prescribed pills were too many.

We’re trying to determine if we need

cranial magnets or touch.


Someone loved before less mattered.

Facts often act factually.

Notes needed footnotes to understand this many layers of longing—

but that might be a tomorrow thing.


Every fingerprint, eye, voice—a signature

from the beginning of time, the boy said to impress

the beaming girl twirling a trampoline.

That was when he had two arms, but no one explains.


Some of us liked each other.

Some of us pretended because it was easier.

Some of us wept behind picnic benches.


Lion masks jettisoned for sewer grates

after non-genetically engineered hors d’oeuvres.

Personas multiplied or eroding.


Small children know mostly none of this.


No one calls now that I’ve given up color.

No one talks about how we’ve misplaced the TV.

No one should panic.

We lost the oars.

Eternity might be a passageway of calcium.


This time wear black.

This time don’t say you’re sorry.


By the time you read this,

everything has become more estranged.


Music fills the strange room.

It’s not all that much.


Some days end before they begin.

We’re voting if this act is over.

The chorus is weighing in.

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2 Responses to DIRGE XII, amplifications [9 dancers]

  1. 6. I haven’t been able to decipher the fault lines: neo-natality, or life; anti-symmetryism, or death; delusional grandeur and hypocrisy, or postmodern impotence, failure, ruins.

    Ruins. The cognitive powers are divided. There are too many sides for which to account: mandatory education, climate and drought, fires, acrimony, the economy of caring for nothing. Nothing.

    Racing colors clash on canvas, raucous pigments emerge distraught, or so we’re constantly told to believe: thrown soup to Monet, broken Roman stones awfully fallen, reckless disregard in taxation with insufficient intelligence for future growth to emerge here and now, primitive selection of matter and form, the efficacy of finality, the end over time.

    The children are fast asleep, breathing good night, starlight and dreaming.

    • Krysia Jopek says:

      [first november all saints’ day 2022]
      poet-philosopher replies to the philosopher-poet

      dearest senior vecchio d’amour at the nietzsche organization of wines stomped from the darkest harvest grapes whence you used to arrive,

      the sixth section of your poems is truly stunning, beautiful, a boomerang gift. I have only read it once, so I shall write a second comment tomorrow

      [where i’ve been/not]: off the e-grid completely and not by choice since a week ago today. I can’t even talk about it and will have cyber ptsd for some while. briefly–zombies iphone when i needed it most to do all the phone check-in the day before my half day in the hospital for 4 cortisone injections between L5/S1 administered by pain neurologist, new favorite doctor. things got worse. bought a refirbished iphone x upgrade from 6 no contacts no passwords when i paid the balance on the phone on friday i dropped off my laptop b.c of the on button issues. i’ll stop there b.c i’m still at ground zero–well maybe a bit higher now that I’m on my laptop finally. but I’ve above ground. sorry for the shitty typing. in pain with something else i shan’t let hold over me consciously.

      ah, consciousness. where does it go at our earthly demise? perhaps it is our godly spiritual being. I lob that tennis ball at you. i’ll proofread/edit this reply later when I’m feeling better physically later tonight or tomorrow more likely


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