By the Lengthening of the Shadows

A ghost is someone: death has left a hole
For the lead-colored soul to beat the fire[…]


Curation is the only weapon
against algorithm. In choosing what
can be viewed, that consumed by shadows
feeds those tombs its occulted taste fills.

Past tensions changing hands in presents
time bends, while challenging reflections
by the lengthening of the shadows,
what follows memory swallowed wills

into seeming allowed those ills once
whispered of only in ritual.
Invisible histories heaped on
bones already miserable, bones

          exhibiting aches beneath silence
          we try once in awhile, like madhouse


inmates taking well to deceptions
we sell to reflections our own shapes
they echo in silver, framed hollows
those shades tiptoe through showing no spills.

Wet souls weathering dried waters, we
try once in awhile, like what happens
when silence drowns unheard oracles
more powerful than words, their vessels,

to emerge informed by this death’s one
sentence that we never once ever
were even infirm. How it deafens,
purer when desired behind shed clothes,

          beneath exquisite nudities none
          can keep when life goes, dead bedfellows!

1Robert Lowell, “The Ghost”, Stanza 1, Lines 1–2, in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse: Vol. LXVIII, No. VI (September 1946), published at Chicago by Poetry Foundation in 1946; page 297.