Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Things In Rows

"We have slept with death all our lives."--Jack Gilbert

things in rows

things in rows, we
worship the linear
for it is fleeting and illusionary,
logical, clean, polished,
and uncluttered.

and our reason for living it
is a bursting kaleidoscope,
a series of rainbows
kenneled in brass pots,
tucked under beds,
hidden in closets,
saved in albums.

death is
that which remains constant;
that transition,
that destination
with a new face, a new roof,
and different doorways
for each of us.

death as lover
lies with the fish on the ice,
with the steaks stacked up neatly
in wrapped pinkish piles,
with the flowers cut and ready
to wither, with the polished
and injected fruit
lining the supermarket bins,
waiting for the embrace
of our many mouths
before rot robs its beauty;
and deep within, several tribes
of carcinogen; harbored, nestled,
hidden but obviously
a beast at bay, tethered
but not broken.

Glenn Buttkus

May 2010

Posted over at dVerse Poets-MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Claudia said...

dunno..i never was much for things in rows...makes me actually rather uncomfortable...strong images here glenn..well played off the jack gilbert quote and very strong closure

Anonymous said...

It's pleasurable and soothing to place things in lines, like canned vegetables in the pantry, because we cannot do the same with life, death, or ourselves.


Imperfectly_Leah_Too said...

This dark , but through provoking for my self. http://leah-jamielynn.typepad.com/blog/

Brian Miller said...

i would rather be untethered and not restrained to rows...death though i doubt i can duck, but until then is will test the symmetry...smiles...very nice progression through this piece sir...and nice imagery...

Becky Sain said...

Nicely done, the imagery is great. I'm not found of the rows either... I'm more of an organized chaos kind of life leader. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nice thinking piece.

I read another quote yesterday that was really similar. Something like, "I like sleep. It's like death without the commitment." :)

Victoria said...

This is so cool, Glenn (and I don't use that descriptor often) and there are times when I can relate to those rows. When I was working and things were out of control, I'd find myself straigthening my desk drawers or cleaning off bulletin boards. A bit of OCD, I guess...the illusion of being in charge. This is so nicely written.

Anonymous said...

We spend our lives in rows and lines...it's quite sad when you think about it.... Powerful poem thats got me thinking thoroughly enjoyed...

Marbles in My Pocket said...

I kept expecting to see a graveyard at the end with a row of graves or tombstones.
Wonderful write!

Dave King said...

A fine poem. Very moving and left me strongly affected. I particularly responded to

waiting for the embrace
of our many mouths
before rot robs its beauty;
and deep within, several tribes
of carcinogen; harbored, nestled,

Poetry and Icecream said...

Very poignant and thought provoking. Great imagery :)