Sunday, October 3, 2010
I lack the energy for a comparable disquisition on the atmospherics of the south. Nor is this poem a product of the south. In addition to his literary strivings, Thomas Lynch is a Michigan undertaker. He is not coy about mingling his work and his art, and the result is poetry that's well-suited for the upcoming Halloween season.
Putting it that way sounds trite and dismissive, but that is not my intent. I don't think literature suffers from a bit of acquaintance with excess -- or why would we still be so mad for the Romantics and Victorians?
These Things Happen in the Lives of Women
The first time he ever bought her lingerie
she was dead of gin and librium and years
of trying to regain her innocence.
"These things happen in the lives of women. . . ."
is what the priest told him. "They lose their way."
And lost is what she looked like lying there
awash in her own puke and the disarray
of old snapshots and pill bottles,
bedclothes and letters and mementos of
the ones with whom she had been intimate.
She was cold already. Her lips were blue.
So he bought her a casket and red roses
and bought silk panties and a camisole
and garters and nylons and a dressing gown
with appliques in the shape of flowers.
And after the burial he bought a stone
with her name and dates on it and wept aloud
and went home after that and kept weeping.
Thomas Lynch on Wikipedia