I want it so the dead are blind. Blind the way Easter comfort washes a stick-dry corpse, passion as misplaced as that derailed train (Ann Arbor, MI, 1947) that ended up in a church, in a school room, in my parent’s bedroom, can’t remember which. What’s happening to my memory? My first dog’s name? The ladder joke? Blind as in the rage our boss manifests when he can’t find some fool to work for a dollar, his third world mindset hopelessly irreconcilable with our first. What about those boys who were playing cards on a tomb in a shit-infested seaside cemetery in Rabat (Morocco) in 1963, they probably would. Speaking of which: Valéry’s Le Cimetière marin in Sète that I visited in ’60, sitting for an hour or two under a pine tree wondering if I’d ever have the what-it-takes to write a cemetery by the sea poem. Probably not, at seventy-three I don’t like my chances. Which could be why I want it so that the dead are blind (& deaf as well, this poem as raucous as the Arabic of those boys in Rabat).
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