The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 3, 2008

elegy for Boojum, our companion cat, we are all poor,

'i can't do elegy' -
this is a poor and sleepless poem -
when something's at the limit there's nothing more to say -
for a moment i might have reversed the process
but heard nothing more than wailing or sounds like an animal -
nothing of crying, just tattered sound -
nothing of warning, fear, existence, trepidation -
nothing can be said on either side of death -
neither this one nor that one -
neither this nor the other -
death is an other -
(eighteen years, and death is an other) -
death is everywhere, death is not around -
(eighteen years, and death is everywhere,
death is poor, death is not around) -
always already other can't speak can't hear can't see -
double needles, of sedative, of anesthetic overdose -
doubled needles -
who are these people & their kindness -
(eighteen years and the kindness of strangers) -
i'm done with it, the other's never done with it -
always the last trip last day last night
last meal last touch last scent last sound -
(eighteen years and the last day and night,
last touch and meal, last scent and sound) -
in and out of the thick of it -
the thick of it never changed -
it stayed dry, viscous, substance and fissure -
it's uncomfortable, stains, sticks to everything -
lives on in us, exchanged, drops to the ground -
crawls out, walks to the sea, drops to the ground -
i can't drop to the ground, i drop to the ground -
there's an elegy on, everyone's there -
she says i think we're at the beginning of speech -
she says she's very sad and wants to go hone -
she stood dry, unattended -
(eighteen years and dry and unattended,
accompanied and unaccompanied, who can go
into and out of the world) -
the fire went out, into the world --
today someone counted elements,
earth, fire, water, wind, air, heat, dearth,
wood, & metal -
(eighteen years and the counting of elements) -
how was the air, the air was cold, bitter,
the wind harsh, we turned the carrier against
the wind, dearth of it all, harboring a flame
until the last, dying in our arms, the metal table,
off to a far wood of hunting -
the world is filled with secret coordinates -
impermanence of the metallic -
she says she thought of the limit -
in a small heaven somewhere -
& now we are silent in the night, existence is silent -
existence crawls, we heard her cries, the catheter
carefully inserted elsewhere in the building -
we held her heat against us, we exchanged heat -
the tablets - prayer wheel spinning above a slow flame -
we couldn't bear to empty her water, clean
her bowl of food, now despair reigns, & in our arms
nothing happened, everything seized --
'this is a poor and sleepless poem' -
without goodbyes, with ill-knowledge,
with infinite regret, with the world undone -
(eighteen years and the world undone) -
ah ah ah ah
ah ah ah ah
ah ah ah ah
ah ah ah ah

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