Sunday, September 29, 2013

Every night my heart comes home kicking my ass

The literary critic I mentioned last week, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, has been buried down the street from me in Frankfurt's main cemetery. It is truly the most beautiful place in town. That now makes four luminaries for me there: Reich-Ranicki, Schopenhauer, Alzheimer, and Adorno.

I would visit anyway. There is one bench I have kept warm for many hours beside an unknown Gustav and Erna. But the bench has since been removed, as have Gustav and Erna's bones and joint gravestone. That's one drawback about the cemetery - unless you are a millionaire or cultural celebrity, you are pretty much renting the space. 

My poem "In Frankfurt Cemetery" also found refugee for only a limited time at Opium, a literary ezine now defunct. I've had it exhumed, and replant it here. It even mentions the sad warning notice they slap on the gravestones when the lease is about to expire. 

In Frankfurt Cemetery 

Trees droop among immovables. 
The rain thinks twice about landing, 
stopped at the leaves. 

Some procure plots with a woodrot cross, 
some a whole hillside, shaky with underground 
chambers, sculpture behind bars. 

Beyond the wall, the traffic brakes and hastens. 
Leave your message after the beep. 

Not the past, but the present makes me sad. 
The eviction notice on the headstone.
Now what? 

Every night my heart comes home kicking my ass. 
What are the oceans up to?
So far apart, do they have the chance to talk?

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