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burdens i



the burdens were left


except in words

           that had no memory,

and erased themselves

                 with time,

palimpsest written

               and rewritten

in a scrawl of consciousness


by randomness,

                    until the dead stopped it

with their silence,

            never forgetful

though forgetting is its knowing.

                             the family is now dead

in words that give

             no finality to feeling.

skies graze on the wonder

                     in my watching.

frozen in words

          the sign has lost its innocence,

but they too are smoke

                        dissipating in reverie,

where home at last finds

                 its myth.




burdens ii



i granted the tombstone

                       its own wish,

for it weighed more

                   than my thoughts

ever could,

           being dry rain from clouds

that dissipated

               before they fully formed,

solids run aground

                  on the shoals of empty sky.

angels, you never gave yourself

                               to my eyes,

although i found your wings

                           in every fleeing word,

and your body

             in the quickening silence

they left behind,

                 buttressing the invisible.

weary words

           in the wake of the gods,

marking their death in stone,


with the poetry of indifference

                               that is lasting truth.




burdens iii



i couldnąt know

               what you could know

being all-knowing death,

                        but i knew you

where you didnąt know yourself,

                               in the dew

that coated the mirror

                      of my memory,

in the stars that focused

                         the everlasting freshness

of light,

         each a sacred scrap


         by the wondering eye,

waiting to be pieced together

                             by its wandering

into a wholeness

                too mythical to ever

be seen again.

              you filled consciousness

until it burst

              the seams of meaning.

the dead poured out of time,

                            free to parade

in their newfound innocence,

                            their bodies purged of time

and fully mythical,

                   heaven at last in their noble calm,

the great gift

              of your wisdom.


Donald Kuspit


Per Contra: The International Journal of the Arts, Literature and Ideas.