Thursday, March 10, 2016


My father's late for the rehearsal
So this poem's supporting cast -- a banshee,
Two cats, my grandmother, most
Of the 1939 Dodgers, Sts. Brigid and Jerome,
Jerome's lion and Hans Castorp --
Amuse themselves as best they can
Crowded into my grandmother's kitchen.
(It is
3 a.m., but she would've been awake
Even if I hadn't sent this crowd along)
The banshee tells a very involved joke
At which only my grandmother laughs
The cats debate proper ways to greet
The ghost of the last Ming Emperor
Who is said to be travelling with my father.
There is a noise outside, but it is only
Castor Oyl and J. Wellington Wimpy,
Players from Thimble Theater, hoping
For some work as extras in the poem.
The banshee is starting another joke:
"Nat Silver, the ghost of an emperor
And Li
Po's shadow walk into a bar ..."

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