A Bowerbird Implodes Above the Bank of Whys
Elegy for B.M.
To win a rose more riveting
Than truth ajar, like burghers
Of Calais, you broke your angst
Into a million angels. Buried
Now, in skies above the cross-
Eared witnesses the sorghum
Boxed the day you died, you
Schlep a new horizon, a glissando
Like the sinking Arizona, for
The Washingtons without
A frozen Delaware. Self-pity
Has the potency of God and devil’s
License; soggy franchise of
Triceratops and sophomores.
Midwives for these ancient aches
Are human, dignified and spent;
As flippant as the battleship Akagi:
Parvenu and parvovirus, each
Refrigerates our childish zeal and
Piles tears on sex appeal. So virilized,
The valley’s terror and boredom
Had a fetor Jacobin; you said,
“The brain is just a tail that’s
Outside-in and on a curious end!”
Too often brusque, my foibles
Caught the wish’s end, the banal
Albanism at its meaning’s point,
Like Joseph Goebbels; but, if God’s
Forgiveness is forgiving God,
A viable alternative is art. To
Rampage blithely in the haunted
House Madonna, with her savage
Purity and stray deceits, remakes
With outdoor apprehension, is to see
The robot teasing dawn – “Your
Skeleton is gone! You’d better go
And chase it!” – knowing dawn just
Couldn’t face it. If I scrape
The inconvenience off my tongue and
Pick the pageantry from winter’s fur,
Conception might occur; the rainstorm
In a grain that famishes bouzoukis.
Tikkun olam, in league with Periodic
Acid-Schiff, paroles your good and genius;
Wingman every time my glory fails.
©2021 Jake Sheff All rights reserved.
Jake Sheff is a pediatrician and veteran of the US Air Force. He’s married with a daughter and six pets. Poems and short stories of Jake’s have been published widely. Some have even been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His chapbook is Looting Versailles (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). A full-length collection of formal poetry, A Kiss to Betray the Universe, is available from White Violet Press.