By Richard LeDue
The Nameless Dead
Adam and Eve's infinite cousins (endlessly removed), and they eat apples too or don't, but few believe the worms lost for turning an apple tree into a wrong turn, probably because the ground tastes like Sunday school lessons in a church basement, or the swallowed griefs at a funeral, where we promised ourselves we wouldn't cry among the flowers, some of which were paid for with a credit card, expired in another year, which seems to haunt us as much as the thought of heaven being just as full as hell.
One for James Purdy: Son of the Voice of the Land
Was it James or Jim? You are barely a ghost that seemed to only exist when listed as your father's son, and Al did write a lot of poems, but I don't remember any about you, yet there's one on Margaret Atwood and her space adventures, so where does that leave you? Private to the point of oblivion? Or am I simply not as well read as I imagine? Even your half-brother has an online article detailing his life, and how he wrote some poetry books, which only makes you more of footsteps in the attic that no one talks about, while haunting my curiosity.
If I keep writing,
eventually the dead people in my poems will increase, almost like a life-long horror movie, with an invisible killer, hiding under the bed, next to the dirty socks, and even as the famous dead are still outlined with words shaped like metaphors by better writers than me, the familiar dead will never realize how something they said years ago (a compliment about a haircut, an insult for chewing with one's mouth open, or some other unpoetic observation) could turn into a ghost, saying more about me than I ever could.
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