Tag Archives: poems about death

Ode to the Korova*

The horrowshow Milkbar

also known now as the best mesto

for my droogs and me,

where, “What’s it going to be then, eh”

is the question repeated

by malchicks and devotchkas …

any random nochy with a thirst

for twenty-to-one, or any other

way to filly out the bezoomny

we feel trapped in the old mozg.

 

Bog himself knows the starry lewdies

try everything they can to escape

their grazzy cheepooka. They

have different ways of lying

about the jeezny, my brother.

 

But if you viddy their glazzies

after a few rounds of their

favorite poisons, behind their guffs

and ha ha ha creeches

you’ll hear from their poogly rot

what sounds like a hound and horny

excuse for why they wake up every

morning to ookadeet their domy and drat

for the measly hem-korm in their pockets …

why they rabbit until their plots

fall apart and are left with nothing

but to itty or take in

the last unending spatchka.

 

It’s why we’re showing mercy, my brother,

and a beautiful thing, kleb and krovvy,

when we take these broken vecks

out back to bend ’em at their altar

in the darkness of the alley

and smash them in the litso —

make a mark in the rassoodock,

so it plays like a shoomny sneety,

like a scene we’d see at the sinny.

 

It’s the only way to prod a bratty.

 

* Inspired by a student who invited me to read and discuss A Clockwork Orange with him.

Beware the Prophets

On one of the days

of that week of creation

(the sources aren’t sure

if it was the 3rd or the 6th)

the angels were told

to bow down before Adam

for man was God’s favorite

invention; made as he was

in his own image

from the mist and the mud …

how could this tiny

material thing, be greater

than those who’d known only

Heaven?

And this is when

the angels conspired to whisper

forever into the ears of men,

lies about the nature of nature

and the terrible predicament

that we are all in.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2018. All rights reserved

 

 

The dead in windowsills

I don’t like finding the dead bodies of insects

anywhere ‘round my house.

Don’t get me wrong, I smash and swat and kill

the little buggers when they trespass on my space.

They are disgusting after all, and especially to me;

when I consider how alien they seem,

but still share my ancestry.

 

How I hate thinking that they still foment

within their genetic recipe

the blueprints for my symmetry.

 

No, my distaste for finding the leftover husks

of dried out insects comes from the deep

realization that I share that fate with them.

 

That their grotesque beauty should be

so fragile in the end, and so easily extinguished,

left without ceremony, to be collected in a dustpan.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2016. All rights reserved.

Because the world’s a stage

I don’t know

what you’ve been told,

about what happened

long, long ago;

but it’s happening still

and forever will.

So even as

you sit around

bored or absorbed

by retold stories

of the horde you were born to,

learning the sayings and prayers

making your exit and entrance

being just merely a player,

you should come to learn,

through peace

and through violence

there’s a greater tale told

of black hole horizons,

and dreams from hadrons

collapsing in silence …

… particles blinking

in and out of existence

ignoring the gravitational resistance

…………..that allows you and me

to walk around on this earth

and for whatever it’s worth

whether you accept it or not

this story has got

……………………….no point.

For in a curious twist

the multiiverse missed,

what no good writer ignores.

Who is this story for?

pasando por aqui *

for Paolo Ernesto

.

the rules for all of this

come from distant worlds

we are satellites of satellites

bound to every detail of the past

.

we trod around our

flooded rock imagining

we could be stars

but we know now

that we are very far

.

we are made from pieces

that fall apart to blend again

with earth and rain

and other broken things

.

like water at different degrees

we are held in a temporary state

awakened for a moment

and given a name and birthdate

.

if we are lucky,

our days cannot measured

only by our presence

or the illusion of our reflections

.

instead we learn to love and live

above the center of the dance

where the music is played

in plasma waves and memories

of romance and laughter; until

yesterday is more engaged

for moments …

.

before the bad news breaks

to remind us of our origins,

.

               that the lotus is retreating

               that the universe ends up freezing

               that there is no way to kiss your gentle face again.

.

* “passing through here” or “happening here”

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2011. All rights reserved.

Reading the doc

What the doctor says to me

               in his soliloquy …

and in terms that are expressed

               really best by his eyes

and the puffing of his chest

              by the stance he finally

takes, breaking our distance

              and the way he holds

his clipboard as a shield

              against death; that’s

the way he says without a

              breath, “this is serious”.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

the sailor’s wake

There are shows nowadays

          that let us ride along

safely from our homes

          with the kind of people

who cast an imprint on the flat world

          that you and I travel on.

My uncle, the sailor, for example,

          who got a tattoo in the Navy

before they became crackerjack stickers

          or cheap substitutes for personality

was one of those who marked the earth

          with his work and left behind a hurt

now that he’s gone past horizons

          we cannot yet get to;

and we are left at the pier, standing by an edge

          measuring the air with everyone around

until we are met with what we can recall –

which are all the pieces of the world

          he scraped off with his fingertips

and nails to bring home

          and mix with the salt of our meals.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

Knowing How the World is Broken

for Haiti after 2010 earthquake

.

Damage to the Presidential Palace is most obvious,

for it is hard to tell which of the other buildings

were already on their knees when the shaking struck.

.

In the pictures I have seen,

wide eyes look out

from their black and brown backgrounds

onto a fresh horror that

arrived from deep beneath the earth.

.

The soil is used to blood in Haiti

and the world is used to watching.

.

The news reports say the quake registered

seven on the scale,

but the island has been at the epicenter

since Columbus landed with smallpox and crucifixes –

lost but determined to profit.

.

To rebuild the Presidential Palace,

     where the Tonton Macoutes were born

     where Poppa schooled Baby Doc

          to brutalize in the grandest Western way,

               first in ties and suits and then

              wearing pleated uniforms with

              officers’ hats and a small herd of

              medallions hung from their breasts

              marking where their hearts had died,

postcards will be used for comparison.

.

In the pictures I have seen

it is clear that the heavens too

turned their backs long ago

just as we do daily here on earth.

.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.

explaining the death of two icons to my son

In one day two icons are gone

I tell my son – the king of pop

and the queen of the pinup.

 

We stop for gas and I talk

to a lady filling up and

almost make her cry by reminding

her of song titles and

the single sequined glove.

 

I give her my copy of a “Best of” CD

I have in my car and tell her to play

#5 on her way home.

 

I promise her it will become her favorite

song from when he was really little

and beat James Brown at being James Brown –

before the moonwalk or the fun house mirrors –

when his voice was full of the same

fear and hunger that we all feel

in being little and wanting desperately

to understand love.

 

As we drive away my son asks me why I spoke

to a stranger and why I’d give her my disc.

I tell him I can get another copy, but that the lady

really needed to hear a good thing from her past

and that I’d show him my Farrah poster later.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.