Maggots spill from one wrenched hand;
from the other, your tedious to-do lists.
Listen or regret: undead lips
upthrust from soil, grunting
out the songs you would forget.
If Schrödinger’s cat is both
dead and alive, don’t
open that box.
Mournful twanging from the pyre.
Decay perfumes the dark.
A toast, dear heart, to your desire:
one final autonomic spark.
I love you for your brains.
Best wishes for a zombitastic holiday from The Cave, the Hive.
All the synthesized sentiment at this time of year used to irritate me, but right now it’s too resonant, despite some intellectual resistance. That’s probably why I’m most struck, in the fall/winter issue of Hayden’s Ferry Review, by poems that riff on nostalgia. “I have this memory and it’s really poignant to me”: there’s a whole lyric subgenre that can be summed up this way. Elizabeth Bishop’s “In the Waiting Room,” for instance, or Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays,” and half the British Romantic canon.
For the rest, see my guest blog for Hayden’s Ferry Review. And more here soon, when the exams are graded!