Tag Archives: trains

elegy for a lost DVD

Next prompt for class was to write a poem about a movie. I choose The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson, a movie that I can always just turn on and drift away in. One week in the fall when I was going through some rough stuff, I watched it once every day. ILOVEIT. But I lost my DVD copy, though. It’s kinda upsetting. Luckily I can almost replay the whole thing in my mind’s eye…

Seeking Moksha
After The Darjeeling Limited

Wake up, brother. Where would I have seen you
last? Was it the funeral, after the taxi spewed
Dad’s change across 57th and Mom released,
an absent saint? Since then you’ve technically
died and I’ll follow, unbodied by these opiates,
half-smoked cigs and scotch. Brother,

I should’ve known you’d try to break open, throw
yourself from your cycle and rise in a crown
of gauze. All the nights spent at Hotel Chevalier
in a stolen bathrobe, transmuting your sadness
to prose—you live alone there, a casual thing—
you retch the hot musk-swell of Voltaire No. 6,

Parisian wine, curled clove-stars from Rajasthan—
probably one of the most spiritual places
in the world!” You sweat burnt sienna: turmeric,
the bindi thumbed to your brow now bleeding
as you limp after the street-swilled shoeshine
stealing your loafers. We are long-faced gamboling

this love-gutted dramedy, prowling the frost-glass
carriage doors of a locomotive lost on a one-way
track—we can’t know where to go. We haul
heavy luggage, haunt rails like angry Hindu djinns
bhangra-ing to 70s British blues-pop—what can we do
but cling to the vacuous continent of grief? Brother,

in your peacock-feather tantric tadasana, you know
the thoracic lurch that punched his gut when the fender
fractured his femur, hip and heart. You fear healing
won’t come, the bandages won’t give way to holy
pink scars and memories of hurt. There was
a plan for this pilgrimage, but fuck the itinerary

fuck the itinerary, fucking fuck the itinerary. We’ll
just drift with everything Ganges running-running,
drunk in the sallow veil of this land so sugar-bitter
like under-ripe lime over ice, or the cherry scowl
of a lover, lips red like Dad’s Jaguar never-resurrected—
not even after we jumped it, shoved it up the block.

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Filed under for class, New Writing, Poetry, Unedited, Unpublished

I gave it a try.

I said earlier that I was afraid of pantoums due to my dislike of repetition. But I had to give it a try. The cold autumn nights driving through rural northern Indiana kind of inspired this piece, but I definitely felt very fenced in by the constraints of the form. There’s so much more I wanted to do! But, eh. The result is alright. Probably won’t turn it in to class, though.

Pastoral Pantoum

The railyard murks up the corner of the small town,
where the umber smog of commuters rumble
in amber underworlds of midnight passage
beneath the copper eye of the moon.

Where the umber smog of commuters rumble
rabbit-shapes of bums and beatniks flit
beneath the copper eye of the moon,
fleeing the silent stare of the shadow-chapel.

Rabbit-shapes of bums and beatniks flit
through the parchment-palms of cold cornstalks,
fleeing the silent stare of the shadow-chapel,
its dusty breath rising in icy whorls to the cobalt ether.

through the parchment-palms of cold cornstalks,
roadways rip up the running rows of broken stems,
their dusty breath rising in icy whorls to the cobalt ether,
passing looms of telephone wire into constellation nights.

Roadways rip up the running rows of broken stalks,
and blackbirds wheel black on lung-searing skies
passing looms of telephone wire into constellation nights,
the glittering organs of farmsteads nestled below.

And blackbirds wheel black on lung-searing skies,
following the knotted arteries of overpasses and off-ramps,
the glittering organs of farmsteads nestled below, by
the railyard murking up the corner of the small town.

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Filed under New Writing, Poetry, Uncategorized, Unedited, Unpublished