Let the Rigatoni Be My Reeds

 

The ghost of John Coltrane 

lives in my pantry. 

He steals chickpeas, 

long grain brown rice, 

red lentils, 

& black-eyed peas. 

He comes out 

once in a while 

to stretch his translucent limbs 

& rattle his transatlantic chains. 

 

At night,  

“Alabama,” “Lazy Bird, “

“Lulu Se Mama” 

float through the kitchen. 

I’m laying in bed 

and "My Favorite Things "

echoes off of a canister 

of granulated sugar. 

Sara asks me to 

turn off the music 

so she can sleep. 

I say, “It’s not me; 

it’s John.

He’s up to his old tricks 

again.” 

Haunted by a 

sax player/

mad genius/

lover of licorice: 

it could be worse. 

Sometimes, during the day, 

when he thinks no one is 

watching, 

he glides outside 

to see the garden 

and watches the progress 

of the tomatoes and herbs. 

Neighbors have whispered, 

“Hey, I saw a creepy, 

old guy in your 

back yard yesterday.” 

“It’s only Coltrane’s ghost,” 

I reply, 

“checking the meter 

and tapping his toes.” 

 

When that tumor 

consumed him,

only forty years old, 

fans and critics 

thought it was the end. 

Loving wife 

& loving kids 

lowered him to eternal rest. 

No rest for the wicked though. 

He was live at Birdland, 

live at the Vanguard. 

He is live behind the pasta and marinara. 

 

The ghost of John Coltrane 

still searching for the 

perfect al dente tone.

 

____________

 

 

A Doggie Bag for Brains

 

“Wrap up the leftover 

grey matter,” 

said Josef, 

“It’ll go nicely w/ some 

tortilla chips and 

mineral water and nightshade

as I watch the late show in my

bed chamber. 

Der Sieg des Glaubins

is on at midnight, 

as always, and I 

never miss it.” 

When Rohm was killed 

on that Night of Long Knives,

things changed. 

Josef knew he needed 

to step up and impress. 

With nothing but a plan 

and some knives of his own, 

he ate the brains 

and drank the last suffering breath 

of those passengers toward death. 

 

“He was capable of 

being so kind to the 

children,” said Lifton 

as the Totalists grew 

and grew.

Josef brought 

the children sweets 

and patted their heads. 

He held their hands 

as they approached the 

gas chamber 

crematorium.

The smoke filled their lungs, 

and the smoke filled his lungs. 

He inhaled deeply 

and held it down as his eyes grew 

drowsy and red. 

 

“Wrap up the leftovers

And send them to Berlin,”

Said Josef,

“The Russians are coming.”

Yes, the Russians 

were coming indeed.

 

“Wrap up the leftover 

grey matter,” 

said Josef, 

“I’m steaming to Brazil 

and will enjoy it 

as I cross the line. 

The Horse Latitudes 

can’t stop the progress 

of the steam ship. 

They can’t stop the progress of 

science. With cold hearts 

and confetti,

the amazon never gives up 

the experiments. 

The Amazon will burn, 

and I will rejoice.” 

 

 

The Heat Death of the Universe

 

“Quick, said the bird, find them, find them.”

 

 “Burnt Norton” by T. S. Eliot

 

At the end of entropy, 

time’s arrow becomes a point. 

There is no movement, 

no tomorrow no yesterday.  

The end of entropy 

will be constant. 

At the moment it happens, 

all moments will cease. 

We will be long gone 

by then. 

The sun, Mercury, 

the asteroid belt: 

all will be long gone. 

 

After the sun has expanded 

and died, after super nova 

and black hole, 

after the cooling of the galaxy, 

all smiles will stop. 

The problems of the present 

will evaporate into nothingness 

and the universe will be at 

peace. The heat death is a 

tranquil time, 

when you think about it. 

Welcome to tranquility.

Welcome the tranquility 

into the vastness. Outside of time 

it is omnipresent: 

The Heat-death God. 

The heat death is now. 

 

The once and future end 

is our constant bedfellow: 

dark, cold, eternal.

 

 

_____________

 

Life on the Side

 

The united twins of Brighton 

toured the world. 

Always alone, 

always a part 

of their whole, 

they never saw a sunrise 

in silence or 

solitude. 

To never see the magic 

of the Strawberry Moon 

without someone 

looking over their shoulders, 

they dreamt of a day 

when the bustle of the barker 

and the bustle of themselves 

would quiet the constant 

rush.

 

Under the Wolf Moon

Violet found the freedom 

she’d so desired. 

The cost was too much. 

Four days glued to a 

corpse. 

The Hong Kong Flu,

on the cusp of the monkey

& the rooster, 

did them in. 

Their demise 

in the backyard of 

Jabez McKay & 

the two-Headed 

Nightingale.

Sideshows 

side by side.

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