Bugs Bunny on Hollywood Boulevard
after John Ashbery
I saw someone who looked like Daffy
the other day. Here, the familiar folds
on itself, streets streaming in all directions.
The leaky yolk of an egg. He split
without a word, leaving me nothing
to go on but a glimpse of heart-patterned
boxers peeking out from the suitcase
he emptied his top drawer into—
the last patch of understanding
disappearing from sight. “Morning,”
he always said, “is impermanent.” Being here
feels like drinking the dark undercurrent
of tomorrow, like being everybody else's friend.
The kingdom of heaven is like a child
who finds a dead bird in the backyard,
sneaks out to retrieve it after his parents
have gone to sleep, and lays it on his bed,
a mound of mulch with legs and a beak
set against his cowboy sheets.
Imagine the tenderness with which he allots it
enough space so he won't roll over too far,
and the elation of waking to find that it must
have come back to life and flown away
in the early hours of morning.
Are You Prepared For What the Night Will Bring?
The light of the television screen
from which The Blue Dahlia radiates
in its two-tone cynicism
might as well reveal an empty couch
even while I lie across it.
Jonny Morrison's drum-punctuated nightmares
seep out of the plasma, planting themselves
in my eyes, where they wrap their vines
around my mind.
And on cue, after the final line of credits
roll up the screen,
Roy Orbison's Crying will fill the room
lulling me to the cusp of permanent sleep,
his voice pulsating with sorry
particulars of his past--
another of the less deceived
to crawl out and whisper to me
I was all right for a while.
About the author:
Jon Lemay is a poet and high school English teacher living in Memphis, Tennessee--but born and raised in New Hampshire. He is a graduate of Skidmore College, where he studied English and theatre in addition to serving as editor-in-chief of Folio (a student-run literary magazine) and executive editor of Skidmore Unofficial (an alternative campus news and culture site). His poetry has previously appeared in Popshot and Folio. He enjoys listening to depressing music and comedy podcasts.