Katrina, Tuli Kupferberg
and Mayer across the street,
the ones who died in Asia
on roads way off the beat,
the ones who died of overdose,
the alky off his med
who stepped in front of a speeding truck
on purpose: Fred the Fed.
Harry Smith let go at home,
whose mind was never frail,
and Stanley, so beloved of all,
was much too strong to fail.
So many more have passed us by
while we could hardly blink—
but time foreshortens those we love
till we are out of sync.
And though they’re gone and we are here
we feel their presence still
and know what they’d be thinking
without the wit and skill.
Why go to the moon?
She comes down to us
night and day.
We’re already a dysfunctional society.
Global dysfunction. Earth, air, water,
fire, and wood at war with one another.
Predatory humans have pillaged some,
set others against one another and wasted
them. The elements waste the creatures,
the creatures waste one another in war and
what’s left, in the end, is the elements
are now orgiastic.
Beyond the dun Dakotas,
the lime of Soda Lake;
a glimpse of rattlesnake.
Ochre quillwork glistens,
embroidered by the Crow
and sewn years past on deerskin
to stalk the buffalo.