by Clark A. Waggoner
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Recent poems by Clark A. Waggoner
grandmother OLD COVENANT
rule of thumbs
tuesday in the afternoon
let me sleep
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Breakfast ends at eight o’clock—the new order of efficiency
The tables clean and disarm themselves and ready for another.
Crisp white sheets in perfect stacks of words waiting on fingers.
And a pencil sharpened nearly to death, so we can kill our fathers.
Write everything, record every detail
Copy this down; write up everything.
Don’t blaspheme—or ask on authority?
Leave nothing to chance, don’t break the lead
Routine is the only thing left—God is dead.
No windows open to a sky anymore
No doors open to a world anymore
There is no time for the miracle of out of doors.
Thirteen minutes till the point is refined
And then the walls will change and I’ll be forgotten.
When the curtains pull back the show begins
And in fourteen minutes the show will end.
The world spins around a deadlock cushion as sharp as jewelry
And at twelve o’clock we’re allowed to stretch if only out of duty
You can hold your mouth shut for a full two minutes
Before you disrupt their order of nature.
Nature isn’t nature anymore—God is dead.
So shut the windows and lock the doors—man made eternity.
And yet some slight flaw in some slight design
Opted for something that was still divine:
Red dreams still hung from the ceilings with their coffins and carpets
(it’s much more efficient to adorn and recycle
—God was recycled with yesterday’s laundry
God was recycled or so go the new stories)
My head is forced back as my heart denies me.
She dangles loosely from her sister petals
And spins towards my heart through whispered prayers
Tick-tock-eternity as she falls from heaven.
Nothing notices, at least nothing worth mentioning.
And upon my cheek she lands and smiles.
I whisper I love her. Then I cry and tell her:
‘God is dead, and so are we’.
She laughs a golden laugh and says she loves me.
Then she calls them, and the entire world stops as they come—
Her sisters fall like snow—then someone cries behind me
(her tears captured the music of eternity)
They part their paths and cross themselves, they echo of
Long forgotten beauty. They blur in the tears and grow immeasurably.
They fill the world, and give it meaning—red stained, bloodshed, unchanging meaning.
Cushions and tables and minutes and watchers
And reasons and years and rewritten posters
And lies and pain and empty, wrong reasons
And work in vain and fruitless seasons
And carpets and coffins and a reign of petals
And hearts and feelings not yet dismantled
The sound of life braved through fastened teeth—
defying the order of man made eternity.
We still believe in miracles—and so do the flowers.