Funeral Lilies

Those flowers, they repair dreams slowly/ in the annex to imagined arcades,/where you take time to straighten out your crease./Real or imagined,/I read up on vices,in personal columns/but they’re misunderstood/So thanks to St.Jude(for favors granted)./They won’t allow certain books;/Wild West Comics, Paris After Dark./They provoke often,/ thoughts of hula girls,/shimmering at night./But now, the famous kinsman /among you died,/it’s his last reel,/ so everybody and his brother/ turns out with due respect./Their juices run, when they’re on top,/ but you wouldn’t know it,/well, funny how they think it sad./How it was, certain words thrill you,/like redolent and serene, no words left,/so you use every trick in the book.//At the funeral, you’re greeting brazen kings,/ they rule their domains,/ real or imagined./Later, your father takes you to the 95th Street Hot Dog Pit,/no mistake about the power he wields there./So the reports rendered in parables:/when a Kansas City woman calls/ her soiled broom her rocket/ she matched up even younger,/ while you take a chance on /a handshake with the mayor,/itchy, sweaty, in wool./He died before he got around/ to stealing the election;/he likes the grandstand bunting /where vagabonds wave their arms/ as avenues are closed/Next Veterans Day, we’ll hit the switch,/ watch ’em bob and weave,/listen to Dad expel the red gravy from one lung./He should quit smoking,/ like he quit church,(not even Christmas). Though he knows what he’s doing,/when he lays down to sleep/ scenes you don’t want to see,/ memos etched under eyelids./You start with a blow that’s fatal,/take it from there,/there’s no percentage in/ abiding by a witch’s prayer/when you can leave /your face in the mirror/right where she finds it./You can’t leave the world,/so you don’t./Anyway, the swift and strong don’t waver.


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