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Poetry Magnum Opus

Day 19


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I won’t say alive, I won’t say dead
4/19/2022, Con/Jur/d

“You didn’t really die”
she would say, when
I would tell the old
story to someone 
new, this was after

the hate 
the victimology
had become the
secret background
the vocal cords
which expressed
even warm words
with a smoker’s
hacking cough

“If you hate my stories
you don’t like me,” 

Why did we 
pretend otherwise?

The koan, she would
have been annoyed by
this disambiguation
incapable of seeing 
the  entwining, entangling


around, through, penetrating us

went something like this:

The Teacher takes
a student to a funeral
and hitting the coffin
says “Alive or dead?”
The response, “I will
not say” echoes
down the halls
of history


The first dream 
I’ve had of her since
The Nastiest Year (s)
certainly, since I heard
she was dead, she is 
in a room down
a labyrinthian hotel
hall, and I was

can’t believe
I’m saying this
without worry
without flinching
looking for her

I know
can you believe it?
Not since I told her to go
and she said no,
again and again,
was there

anything but shadowed
lies of innocence
deliberate ignorance
between us.

Now that you have relocated
and we no longer have to lie
or live in terror of past selves
inconveniencing the present I
need to know what you think
of the old stories, is it true I
was alive and merely incon-
venienced, or dead? Despite
everything, typically, you will

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