All posts tagged death

Half-assed Elegy

Published October 8, 2014 by April Fox

Shy at first,
(the way you are when you begin to realize
that your invisible friends
and Santa Claus
aren’t real
but you make your lists and set out
extra teacups
I was hesitant to speak
mumbled out into the dark
and empty room
the echo I imagined
shut me up and turned
to live-to-dead telepathy
thinking pointed thoughts toward the earth, the sky
the universe which sat
to respond

I thought perhaps
a translator might help,
dialed 1-800 numbers, spoke with
aging housewives wrapped in tattered terrycloth
chain-smoking cigarettes and lying
that they knew the dear departed

I sought evidence of soul recycling,
a familiar turn to a feline eye
or the cast of a particular note
on the breath of a dying bird
clutched between the jaws
of a tame domestic short-hair

For the hell of it,
(having packed away the tea set
left the stockings and the reindeer food
ashes on the hearth)
I raised my voice in a half-terrible
supplication mimic
asked the one they said would save me
for a sign that they were there

Too busy killing babies
and enchanting football games
the silence soothed me
like a love song

And the ground devoured them.


Published June 16, 2014 by April Fox

This is the part, tiny little nothing man
where you reach down inside where
everything good festers and dies, pull out your
misery and strangle yourself
with your own
fetid tongue.

Street whore cries injustice, plastic face
melting off under the acid of her
manufactured tears
knees bruised and bloody
from too long at his feet
ankles sore from long lines waiting
for the heroin injection
tapping feet, anxious to
return to incest nation
Jesus is her savior.

His head is torn apart.

Outside, stupid girls in hundred-dollar garbage skirts write
crimson orifices in expensive
Moleskine notebooks,
trapping boys with tic-tac birth control
and manifesting

Mothercunt, she is a parasite
in reverse
damaged infant screams for breath
long before it’s born

she says.

And somewhere in Ohio, death
has claimed reality
and the blue bar across the screen
becomes the only thing
we see.



Remembering Dot, Again and Always

Published February 24, 2014 by April Fox


Days like this I remember letters
in tiny boxes
careful pen strokes
never crossing the lines

Fat red apple jar filled with
chocolate sandwich cookies

The light on the back porch
sun breathing its life into us
I was so much older than she, sometimes
still the infant on her lap

She made me laugh, cry
made me bunny ears in the tub and told me
Little Orphan Annie was the worst
I had to fear

“I used to dance too,” she said
smiling at my tiny daughter
the same size as she
“Tap, with my sisters. I wish I remembered the steps.”

“I can show you,” and my baby took her hand.

She’s not there anymore
empty chair, empty house and when I need to feel strong
I spray on her perfume
and practice the steps
my daughter teaches me.


Published December 13, 2013 by April Fox

I’ve held in my hands
a thousand pretty deities
and all the ugly ones
Turned them over, inspected them
for authenticity
crushed their life out,
saved my breath
for my own resuscitation

Buried them
under mounds of ash
from old deposit slips
and torn-off clothing
(the buttons, when they burn
are worn out tires)
and letters written late at night
to no one in particular
ribbons from cassette tapes melt
and scar their holy corpses

There is nothing in their flesh
that makes them real

There is no kind of belief
can make them whole.


Published October 29, 2013 by April Fox

You gather deaths
collect them, fragile things
put on display for all the world
behind sheltered, break-resistant glass
–see how big my compassion is?
my heart is broken, so sad–
little heroes, dripping acid tears
on the linoleum
eating through to the dungeon

Your sorrow smells of mothballs
and camphor
and uncooked meat
left out too long.

Arrange your teeth in careful rows, straight as straight and
locked tight behind tragic lips
corners just so
tucked down into your trembling chins
stuffed with greed
and sympathy bought
at the five and dime
buy one dead one
get one free
tack your ribbon to your chest
click like to pray to demigods
that live behind the screen
keep scrolling
if you want
to go to hell

Dress up in your funeral garb,
black head to toe
slick your lips with gasoline
and settle on the couch
to change the view.

October 31 1991

Published October 13, 2013 by April Fox

The next day
you could see where she had come out of herself
dark against the black

I saw her sometimes,
behind sleeping eyes
dark curls bouncing
head thrown back
with all of her blood
inside of her.

I saw him too,
crouched down, cowering, shivering
blade held high
and with all of the will of my wanting
I cut off his head.

When I was much younger, my friend was killed in the middle of the night by a psychopath with a knife. I don’t know why this came into my head now, nearly 22 years later. I think about her sometimes, still. I wonder what she would be like today, whether our children would have grown up to be friends, whether we’d laugh together over all the crazy shit we did when we were kids ourselves. Funny how people stay with us, sometimes. 

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