Eulogy for the World and Being Floored by a Poem


This was written as a response/ tribute to THIS POEM. I read it the other
day and couldn’t get it out of my mind.

(huge thanks to the author, who is unspeakably awesome for allowing
this tomfoolery anywhere near his words.)


On First Looking into Zig’s Milton


                          I read a poem yesterday;
a poem so beautiful,
it made all the bones
                            in my body
quit their jobs,
and go outside to
                       smoke cigarettes under the stars.

It was a poem, light
with wonder
and brief flashes of joy
                                and longing.

and it spun
and it climbed and it jumped
out into empty space
with fearless aerialist, trapeze grace.

And it toppled civilizations
and brought us to the end of man.

And it asked a question.

Because that is what art does.

It asked-
when the end comes,
and the spaceship archaeologists from the
                                                    planet Unthinkable
in the year
trip over the psychic mess
we’ve left strewn across
the universe;
and they flip on that
                            cosmic radio
and tune into us from a hundred million
years away,
                             what will we have to show for ourselves?

And this is what my expat bones
spun, by way of an answer,
in the dark
under the alien sky,
the butts of their cigarettes hovering
                                               in space before their

They said this-
Humanity was a dirty affair.
We swore and tore
through all our grunting toilsome, weary days
and damned ourselves to every burning hell
                                                         of our own configuration.

But sometimes-
                     just for a moment –
one of us would turn the sword on himself,
and pierce his own heart
and sing in the key of God.
And that was enough.




14 responses to “Eulogy for the World and Being Floored by a Poem

  1. Sometimes, just sometimes, though more and more often nowadays, I barely understand why we need anything except poetry.

    Thank you for sharing Zig’s poem. Thank you for writing yours. All I want to do is wrap these words around me and go write some more.

    • more and more and more. write in blood and lymph and spit and tears. on pages of bone and skin and on the music sheets of your every breath.

      thank you for your raw, real, remarkable self.

  2. Ah, Shawnacy… this was indeed enough, sufficient to hold back the tide of swearing and tearing as you remind that some people are deserve to be beatified.

  3. and thank you for your remarkable self, and for pointing out a stellar write

  4. powerful.
    sometimes i think the key of God is like those silent dog whistles, and try as i might i just hear empty blowing air. but every now and then i catch a few notes and i dance.

    • it iS… just like that. … i always think of it – that elusive THING, that GODlike, eternal thing we all search for – as being just over the horizon. and i can see the glow of it, indescribably beautiful and deep and rich… and sometimes the wind blows the right way and we hear strains of it’s music… and our souls do indeed dance.

  5. breathes deep….smoke cigarettes under the stars? the key of God?

    my dear, you are touched by Him.

    i want to harness you, breathe you in. mind if i stalk you a bit?

  6. Pingback: What made feel alive this week: A list | Just TeeZeng

  7. This is absolutely beautiful… I love the bones taking a break from work and smoking cigarettes.

  8. Jennifer Warnes

    That’s my niece Shawnacy you’re writing to. I have friends in the CIA.

    No joke,
    Jennifer Warnes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s