I read this poem in the online edition of OnEarth magazine – http://www.onearth.org/article/ozone-alert


— By by Elton Glaser

The last of June burns to the third degree,
Sun swelling like a blister on the sky.

For once, I’d rather be breathing out
Little clots of cold from a thin winter.

Robins fan themselves with their hot wings
And worms slink deeper for some dark relief.

From the bossy radio, warnings not to gas a tank
Or blaze a barbecue with forbidden fuel.

Good citizen that I am, I won’t mow the lawn
Or let asthmatic joggers run their noonday routes.

I won’t open a hydrant in the street, even though
Every pore on me opens like a spout.

Wherever the wind’s gone, I want to go, too.
Leaves hang like the tongues of tired dogs.

Others may shade themselves in the cool of movies
Or float over the chlorine ripples of a pool.

Should I shut the windows tight and turn
The thermostat as low as the level of polar floes?

Night can’t come soon enough for me, or storms
That drain the heat and douse the summer air.

My response to the above poem.

The dance of death
makes its way amidst shrieks and laughter;
moist and parched,
drums on the beaten layer of sanity.
Awakened and embalmed.
The crystals of morbid fear shines,
pierces through an ugly, pungent apathy.
The world was round once.
It is grossly flat now.



Twilight. A week later.
Robbed of its shadow
the body sings a lullaby to toxic desire.
Embalmed. Benumbed.
Marching forth to devour the inanity dipped in maple syrup.
A trembling regime collapses under crude modernism.
The jester revives it.

Late afternoon. 23 years ago.
“What were you thinking?”
A red rose turns rust brown.
He picks up the ashes. She wears lipstick.
They kiss goodbye.
Sweet poison runs in the veins of these people
that sleepwalk in the city of
silhouettes and stilettos.
The creamy layer melts.

Late night. Yesterday.
Restless amid soulless bodies.
Eyes shut. Wide awake.
The tattered old Frenchman peers at an empty beer bottle.
He shrieks. Silence.
Troubled by an ambiguous clarity I walk the tightrope.


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