Poetry - Hyssop and Hermetics, The Absinthe Literary Review

by Matt Schumacher

Ode to my Flamboyant Wardrobe

Reader, cease your dreams of ghostly clothes
Casting tantalizing manta-rayesque shadows.

Try on whole oceans. Open my wardrobe door

And unbridle miles of wild horses.

Free all the leaping lounge-lizards from their erstwhile asylum!

My blazers brazenly parade like undiscovered creatures

Picketing for a new phylum.

My orange t-shirt ignites level five fires and incites blaring sirens.

My beltís drastic elastic snaps you back dazed

Like a flailing chuteless skydiver at ground zero who

Springs up due to the bungee between him and the plane.

I pack just the thing for frigid luncheons:

My smoking jacket. Itís pure spontaneous combustion.

At postponed games, and below the sea, respectively,

My raincoat chases monsoon rains

And deeply worries fleets of submarines.

In love, or lack of it, even saintly ladies faint

At the sight of my aphrodisiac jacket,

Upon which amour smolders. To douse the craze,

I must drape entire starry nights over my shoulders.

This effectís best and safest for everyone on-scene

When Iíve dressed fluorescent beneath the evening:

My lambent undershirts, my tie a pale blaze,

My vest of white pinstripes ripped off from

Reflective markers along interstate highways,

And my blacklight socks,

Those dalliant peacocks

Which spread magenta from my feet,

Whose moonrise in my shoes

I use gently, yet expertly

To illuminate the gloom of funerals





I went to hell like you told me to.

I met the strangest levitating saint,

A daredevil aerialist who entertained the deranged

With mad acrobatic grace a hairsbreadth above flames

And replaced the sad-faced damnedís shame with bliss.

I walked where God himself disallows all miracles,

Where pure suffering is birth and mercy is myth.

Hell needed saints; therefore, I tried to be kind.

I was the only passenger to ride the blind helicopter pilotís death flight.
I walked beside a guillotined prince sentenced to forever carry his head.
Men more skeleton than man begged me to let them be dead.

I wiped the brow of a shrieking pickpocket

Whose hand must eternally attempt theft

Within nests of squirming scorpions,

And held the hand of a whore forced

To store monsoons within her womb.

If only I could have stolen an ambulance,

But all antidotes had long ago fled.

I tried to give a child with frightened eyes of fire

My sunglasses, but when he put them on, it was clear

His anguished smile would haunt me until death.


© 2003 Matt Schumacher

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