"The 31st Day, or, alternatively, The End of an Error"


I lost a dear to me today.
It was raw and it was
selfish and it was tar-stained
and it was mine.
It was born
unknown of purpose,
a template of process,
a victim of progress.

I promised it more
than I could provide.
I promised it more
than I realized.
I promised life to waste,
form to paste,
sound to taste.
I promised lovers to the letches
and laid down with the chaste.

One should say a few words
before blankets are hung.
Truth is important here –
It was rarely slick but
always true.

Most precious to It
were its trinkets:
little mechanical wonders,
It towed them everywhere
in a gold satchel with tricky latches,
brought out one at a time with great effort to teach temperance.
The Planks of the town laughed at Its speckled preachings.
You can find the tin toys in a box in the back –
drop a bit in the cup if you please.

Chiefly men speak of Its diligence,
and so shall I.
The way It baked bread without yeast,
the way It found sleep without peace.
The way It gripped the pen so tight ink flowed from its top,
priming tips of fingers for sloppy smeared strokes.
too visceral for lies, too truthful
for prose, the suspect documents decorate
Its bathroom walls.  They are available to
you, the mournful public, on a per sheet basis.

Born in Brooklyn, raised in a vacuum,
schooled in absolutes at the end of an era.
Served twenty years in God’s army,
retired without distinction or blame.
Sat on the board of trustees for Undeveloped Neroses,
first chair Darwin Tabernacle Choir,
2004 Ken Jennings Scholar.
Winner of the prestigious Cosmic Bureaucrat Award
for outstanding work in the field of pointless organization.
Lover of knives,
lifter of heavy objects,
enabler of expectations,
bearer of antiquity,
rejoinder to liberty,
self-inflicted savior,
hard to figure castigent and
Connect the Dots maestro of the Upper North Side.
It is survived by twenty-four impossible treatises
and a line of merchandise bearing Its name. 

But now, in the tradition of Its own design,
we will commend Its dear remains
to the oblivion of unburnished thought,
unrepentant brilliance and Un-American acceptance. 
Step inside, no flash faux pas,’ respect the running tour rope.
Observe the blankets,
taped on walls and down back halls.
They absorb Its dying breath,
cushioning the blow for those that might have been there but couldn’t make it.
I would elaborate, but the
rite was written on ink proof mittens, 
briefly flashed then safely hidden,
under beats and ligual feats,
safe from all derision.

So goodnight sweet pantomime,
goodnight true friend of mine.
Your deeds will be forgotten
but the message stays the same:
When converts craft the story,
the righteous take the blame.