October 10, 2012

poem 372 of a poem a day for 2012

painting by Adam McLean

the purgatory of worms in plastic masks

what if everything you thought was real
was just the dreams you exit stage left with
your past life entry denied
try the key pad again sir
the voice over the intercom says
do you need a winged escort
or have you remembered your way past sulfur
back into your shell locked humanity
back toward the dying breed 
of your desire for a graceful leave
you try to unwind 
the ranted nautilus of your life
amid the cacophonous quiet
that we earmark as a sanctuary
so when you get here
we always try to sell you
the benefits of mankind's
spa mistreatment centers

we’re so sure to find
enough wrong with you
that you end up
begging for the benefits
of softly applied technical stupidity
you buy more of this
more than enough soothing wraps
and reclaimed mud
from the heavy metal dredges
and crushed maple leaves
and orange bleed we steal
from the gray skies of Autumn
it is so aromatherapeutic
we tell you
to lean into the smells
outside the gated Sun
where you become one
with the dark damp fertilized
death to come

every Halloween
you swear this is the year
you are going to
make it to Heaven  
that this is the year
that you break through
the tides of glass
that this is the year
you’ll at least get to see
the great pumpkin
is as hollow
as you have become
spitting seeds and fire
into a night
more than willing
to take from you
what still burns
with life


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