Monday, April 5, 2010

5/30 "Prone Position: a poem for my Uncle Paul" by Gus Wood (Feedback Please!!!!)


Perfect portrait of the lazy genius, you didn't even have the patience or gas in the tank to take your life properly.
You slacker-crawled your way into the living room, with irony breaking your legs,
Misery hammer-snapping your kneecaps into "L"s to Tetris-fit your attitude.

Go ahead,
Block us all out,
We never could hold your Octopus juggle show long enough to save you from yourself.

When cancer fist-gripped your wife's pancreas, squeezed it hard, rung her out into skeleton girl,
we whole family watched your bearded fuse-burn to melted candle,
half-finished wax man you lost any shape in that moment.

When she wither-leaf crunched that Fall, the pain on your face tore the room to shreds.
Inconsolable, the bow-tie funeral preacher's white-dentured wisdom did nothing to stitch you up torn grief-doll fraying underneath the daylight.

I watched the lava in your forehead pulse whenever someone spit out "God."
With Paula, your wife, your only good thing going, only evidence of blessing, sitting burnt ash on a table, everyone's god deserved no homage beyond your shoulder-shrugged indifference.
And every day since, that shrug stuck to your heart, a cholesterol spackle shield nothing could get through to you.

Fast forward to your lonely day,
the perfect off-key opera fuck up,
car running, going
You tried to swan dive but sloppy belly flopped your show-stopper,
no air
infected leg, made worse from staying in the same position,
you were always vacuum suck stuck in the same

The ugliest metaphor prank the universe pulled,
I had to laugh the acid out of my throat,
had to cry your reflection out of the mirror
you lazy genius, I am told I am too much like

With every disappointment I let stray dog strut home with me,
My mother Charles Whitman sniper-shoots your name at my future.
Every tongue-slip grade-school name tags me as the wrong-turn Uncle,
lazy coma-man, wax statue melting, slipping off the rock wall, no handhold.
My mom, your sister, sighs your name so goddam dark these days that it
repaints my body Ouija-board stiff,
I necromance you, channel you spitting-image shoulder-shrug son,
a Monty Python quote dissolving on my too-clever tongue like the medicine that
didn't save the one Thing that made you move,
made you Stand Up, Be Somebody,
God damn distant relative you're falling too far from the tree,
You can't grow like that.

My mom tells me every wrong turn, every missed homework, every bad choice I make,
bubble potions me into your atrophied Mr. Hyde.
Stop hiding from us, I can't keep finding myself in your jagged missing pieces,
I'm losing blood too quickly doing that.

Watching you drift, astronaut Uncle, watching your misspelled masterpiece through second-hand E-mail mother mutters paper cuts my finger-tips too imperfectly to ignore.
Life-line stretched elastic, I'm screaming your name into my salt-palms.
You will never hear my voice, most likely.
But I will keep screaming your name ugly red inked into each mistake.

We are the same broken puzzle,
broken mirror soul mates.
But I will not be Sniper-Shot by Our reflection,
I will not be weighed down by your name,
I will keep climbing until I reach the height,
You fell from.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have a printed copy w/ feedback on it by the time you get back