A Pilgrimage to the Grave of Oscar Wilde


To ascend the spiral stair from Philippe Auguste station,
     to go to Père Lachaise at the end of your vacation.

To crisscross cobblestone causeways in the crepuscular Parisian air,
     through forests of consecrated, moss-covered crenellations,

which riddle the peripheral of winding pebble paths,
     beneath the rain-bruised clouds enshrouding all that pass.

And to wonder if you’ll find one single marker
     before the twilight falls and all grows darker.

To stumble on Avenue Carette—at last—worry subsides—
     an endeavor you won’t regret after all.

Ahead, the barrier glass, the wingèd eunuch,
     the limestone tomb—dead flowers ring the monument en masse.

And to realize what a peculiar task 
     you’ve undertaken—
To cross an ocean to pay respects

     to a man you never knew,
          from a time in which you never lived,

                    for pangs you've never suffered.

To bestow in such perfunctory fashion
     splendour that impassioned such a number
who strove their lives entire to lie
     in such a station—

     Ensconced by lip-smeared safety glass,
          besmirched by love in which you’ll never bask,
     lauded by those in life you’ll never pass—

What more can the triumphant ask?

This 3rd of July

America, tomorrow sate your lust
   for roasted flesh and trite casuistry
to remember what our independence cost—
   or stroke your patriotic vanity
instead. Rationalize your vices by Christ.
   How better sanctify your ministry?
But beware the wiles of science on illusion;
verifiable facts pose such an intrusion.
But there'll be no inconvenient truths
   tomorrow. Media outlets won't pull threads
that might unravel market economy myths
   of thriving individualist thoroughbreds
galloping gallantly right over groups
   intent on interfering with our heads
by eroding quaint American culture—
freedoms—and eating 'til our waistlines rupture.
So, staunch red-blooded Americans disport
   yourselves freely. Pretend the earth weren't teeming
with fossil fuels. Never attempt to thwart
   exploding populations. Keep on thumbing
your nose at scientific led reports.
   Go on—bury your head in magical thinking.
To bring to culmination your theocracy;
and spoils of abusing our democracy.

To a Feckless Colleague

Do you have qualities that don't offend
   the axiomatic principles conceived
by decent men? This I cannot defend
   without some irrefutable proof involved—
To read a book, you'll never condescend;
   and love for reason in you did not evolve.
And, while some seek redemption for your numbskullery,
I'm not saint enough to endure such drudgery.

Lilac Eyes of Winters Borne …

Cross and Maus

Lilac eyes of winters borne,
   Merrily fraught with morning dew,
Sought the heart forever mourned.

Eyes of gleam and sparkle shorn,
   Seasons known so few,
Lilac eyes of winters borne.

Shrouds of satin shadows wore,
   And bid the light adieu,
Sought the heart forever mourned.

Life’s love lost from bosom torn,
   Winter’s bite in lieu,
Lilac eyes of winters borne,

Withered rose on a winter’s morn,
   Crimson tears I wept for you,
Lilac eyes of winters borne,
Sought the heart forever mourned.