Tombstones and Telescopes

Who will bury the shovel?
Who will place the tombstone?
Who will say a prayer for the flowers?
And where will the band play
when the instruments are all confiscated,
and the music masticated,
and your heart lacerated?

“Rags to more rags,” he moaned,
splayed in bed with a stained shirt on.
She flatly concurred. He shot her a mean glance
as she took a long drag on her cigarette,
meeting his stare.

Like, who the fuck will dig a gravedigger’s grave?

The plane ticket was in the drawer next to the magnifying glass and a bottle of his prescription pills; what else was in there, he wondered as he rubbed his beard and searched through the cobwebs of his mind. After the stewardesses inspected the cabin and sat down he took off his seat belt. The passenger next to him looked in his direction but didn’t say anything. That’s the one good thing about cancer, he decided, you don’t have to be afraid anymore.

She put perfume in her purse — because you never know when you may need it. The taxi pulled up and she plopped on the seat like a crumpled bank receipt. The cabby put one arm on the passenger backrest and turned around. She hated this part; she hated to say his address. The cabby waited, an unlit cigar hanging from his scruffy  jowl turning his head into a mallet. Finally, in a raspy Moscow accent, he asked her, “Well, lady, where do you want to go?” Something snapped, she went offline. “I’m not a prostitute,” she blurted out. “I don’t care,” the cabby told her, “Where do you want to go?”

I’m a concrete man in a digital land/
reading lost scrolls in philosopher robes/
Quick sliding in the sand give him a hand/
the flowers froze when there was no where to grow/
And I can’t stand/
the machination of the Master’s master plan/
Don’t you know/
I come from a long lost clan/
of poets with a pen and pad/
fighting tyrants from the highlands to Lenningrad/
My mind’s starched like the deserts of Arizona/
Heart’s on the march like the bulls in Pamplona/
My bones are loaners they’re only mine till I’m a goner

He built a telescope in the woods and a path that leads from his house up the hillside where the telescope is located. There is a dense coverage of ferns and many birds sing a chorus throughout the day, but at night when the stars are out insects take over and their chattering is louder than any city on Earth. He goes up there and observes the stars and charts them on his little map of the sky. Tonight the sky was clear and lit up like a Vegas casino.  He had his scope trained on the northern horizon when a star he was watching, five times the size of our own, suddenly flared up in size and then disappeared. He had witnessed its death.  This massive, hot ball of gas, light years away and billions of years old, vanished from the sky like a candle being blown out — at least the light it emitted while it was alive(?) had finally disappeared. The truly astonishing thing is that this star has been gone longer than he’s been on this planet, and all this time he’s only been observing a ghost. This fact gave him pause. He wanted to call her — when his wife left him she told him that the boredom was like a slow death — he wanted to tell her she was right.

A transitory hiccup in the mouth of time.

“That little red toothbrush makes out with that blue one when we sleep.”  “How do you know it’s a he?”  “Well, it’s yours, right?” “I guess.” “And that hairbrush is all over the razor.” “I can see why.” “But the eye drops are too lazy for romance, it’s just jerking off all day.”  “What about the deodorant?” “The deodorant’s gay.” “How’s the deodorant gay?” “They just are. The Mitchum and the Clinical Gillete are in love.” “It’s like a wild orgy of beauty products in our medicine cabinet.” “I know. I love it.”

The night is a piece of fruit, ripe and scrumptious, ready to be consumed and enjoyed, but there’s a part where you know you’ve hit its pit, and it’s hard like an avocado’s, and you know you can go around it but you can’t go through it. And so you slow down and keep your mouth shut and try to keep the walls from falling.

Is that steak medium rare??!  Aw, fuck, whatever, I have my knife in my hand already. You can never get steak cooked right these days.

There’s that TV show that she likes but can never remember its name.  It’s about a pair of detectives, one of them totally unhinged and hilarious and short, and the other super-serious and tall; and they bundle their way to solving the case each week even though they leave the evidence on top of their car and drive away in every episode, leaving them without any clues; anyway, she loves it and talks about it all the time but can never remember its name. And neither can I.

We’re all made up of alien lifeforms when you think about it.


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