In memory of Dorothy Burns
i. troppo allegro
Remember seasons? Seem to recall those once were easier.
Reasonably sequenced, regal of tempo and temper,
Reliable change flipped heads-over-tails each quarter,
Recovering the hemisphere with four fine suits, knock-off designer.
Recently, someone shuffled, cut the deck into disorder:
Relapse, tic, hiccup, snap, weeks reissued like hipster
Rediscoveries ... join the club! No closer
Reading required to diagnose this crazy weather:
Record highs, flourishing lows. April even crueler
Recapitulated each fortnight. Spring hailing like a howitzer.
Reek of summer tickling autumn’s automatic sprinkler.
Redder-neck sunbathers burnt by November’s toaster. A warbler
Retweeting Keats, well into winter. A death for Easter.
ii. funeral: march
Remember: misremembering that fishy Faulkner
Remark, the dead are never passed. Ask: will this chapter
Retain familiar cycles? Lather, rinse, repeat. Swelter,
Reins, release. Welter, ruins, reseed. Seconds per
Revolution: top-heavy spinning, simian moods over-
Reaching from swing to swing. For reveler,
Read revelator: elevator going upper, downer,
Results of a heart dialed three degrees warmer.
Remedial Ecclesiastes: a time for X, and a-whole-nother
Reciprocal time for X’s refrain, a dinner
Reservation for six — make that five — and an altogether
Regrettable time for the long and short divisions of disaster.
Remainder: only a matter of time. No more time to matter.
iii. scherzo: presto chango
“Remember, the world’s stage was not set for your metaphor, Christopher
Rex, tragicomic motherfucker:
Recognize, why don’t you, your relish for the realish, for hinter-gatherer
Relationships between the dank diamond mine of your inner
Resources and the Real World (remember that?), our fixer-upper
Residence imperiled enough without your cheesier
Regrets stinking up the joint — shoulda, coulda, woulda, Gouda. Character
Reassessment sure is fun, but don’t run down the theater.
Regards, Responsive Reader / Longtime Listener / Other: _______ ”
(Re: that critique, one childhood scene I’ll offer:
Relatives teasingly wondered why my “gatekeeper,”
Regulator of mind and mouth, would wander
Regularly away from his post. Still no answer.)
iv. finale: re-fugue
Remember with me (it’s not all mine to remember),
Remind me, under this never-better weather, whether, if ever,
“Real time” and its dead-ahead march to an unlucky number
Really feel right as a royal flush, since time seems so much fairer
Rewound — recoiling counterclockwise, the seasons’ order
Restoring, entropy decreasing, days uncreasing — now faster,
Regress infinitely, till the Spaide family tree, our off-kilter Calder,
Recollects its fallen leaves — relief, pains, laughter,
Reverse it, past, even, it’s not — trust I tamper
Respectfully, gatekeeper, but why not even further,
Reductio ad absurdum, back to the very scene I enter
Rehearsal, ninety-nine degrees, summer-hot, set to simmer,
Ready or not, on the twenty-first day of December?