Universe Verse

Occasionally, odds and ends occur, often registered memories sometimes straying into sight again. The Usual Suspects expresses a series of disjointed tendrils that recurring somehow seem to shape together in old familiar views.

The Usual Suspects

Death is what we have left

we don’t even know who the pop stars are.

Heroes choose it, cowards lose it

we just don’t know 

’til the threshold’s crossed.

 I like to walk and smoke

it’s sort of like balancing

the tightrope of life.

Smoking’s bad for you

walking’s good.

Most of the people I hate

I never met. I want reason

to love everyone I hate

to talk to them

on the street, the sidewalk

About their kids, the weather

the things we do together

of how they outweigh

the things we think



Cicadas, Cicadas

After seventeen years, the Brood X cicadas left their deep earthen bunkers by the billions. They do this for around a two-month period, first appearing like 1950s movie aliens, with orange bug eyes on black plastic bodies, flying around on saranwrap wings laced with black-thread filigrees. The background din they create bears witness to their numbers punctuated by blink-of-an-eye lifespans, their shell corpses paving the way everywhere. Sound is how they touch base with their kin and scope out ways to mate and procreate. Again, the din of billions can make unaware listeners wince. In the entire process of flying and crying to find mates, they steer their unwieldy aircraft shells to bushes and trees. Crash landing their crates, they split them to emerge as wormish caterpillars and get it on. They drill deep into soft tree trunk tissue, issue a load of eggs, then go off to die. The eggs hatch, offspring crawl below deck deep into the firmament to rest and wait for seventeen years, after which it all begins again. Here’s a poem written in honor of the the cicada odyssey. ( To be sung to the tune of Don’t Cry for me Argentina–or not.)

Don’t drum my ears massed cicadas,

seventeen years gone from your maters,

     we know you’re patient

     though somewhat dated,

     your orange eyes vacant,

    your sere-laced carapaces.

Homely to humans though quite scrumptious,

to those who like munching crunchy lunches,

     surviving millennia

     we knew it was in ya,

     brief moments in time

     sacrificed for the next in line.

Sleep deep drowsy burrowed nymph-cadas,

we’ll see you around here much later,

     a score minus three years no doubt

     unless we ourselves age out.

To Da on His Birthday 103, et. al.

Break out the crystal for Daddy is dead,
     long gone some decades ago.
Now in Heaven with Mom and Mark,
     Mary and all those others we mourn.
Except we don’t; instead we think of them live
keeping us going with memories of wit,
gorgeous creatures who lit up our day,
those we miss most until we get there.
Long life is good, memories sweet,
bitter too for what might have been.
Nonetheless, raise up your hearts and a glass
for those who’ve gone before,
never alone.