Garrulous prose: a child’s mere babble. And yet a man who drools, the idiot, the man of tears who restrains himself no longer, who let’s himself go—he too is without words, bereft of power, but still he is closer to speech that flows and flows away than to writing which restrains itself even if this be restraint beyond mastery. In this sense, there is no silence if not written: broken reserve. A deep cut in the possibility of any cut at all.
My daughter, Minnie Ha-Ha, found the shallow grave
where I’d buried the Lady Mineola—not
deep enough—in the backyard. ‘We was just digging,’
she’d said, as if that explained it. Kids do
that all the time, you know. They dig big holes,
turn them into aristocrats—as if
the act of digging in the earth
were an act of investiture. But this time
no one was fooled. Minnie’d been looking high
and low for her Ladyship. We knew that.
It’s tough to have a puppy die…
especially if you’d treated it with ‘un-tender hands’
as if you yourself were the murdering ‘org’
(in Minnie’s spelling), the one she wrote a poem about.
The ground is dry behind the shed, protected from
the rain and ice and snow. My bad, okay, I know.
Minnie Ha-Ha, I should’ve taken
Mineola out in to the woods,
let her decay in peace—
and not be holding a séance for
her soul, not bring this all back to life:
Get down on thy back, damsel.
The book between us should satisfy us both,
for your master is mine as well—
as if the burning dawn is like a candle,
like a dawn that never saw air or sky,
the mind’s timid transplant, and the one
you never will forget, the Lady Mineola, who
wanted nothing more than to play with Minnie Ha-Ha in
my daughter’s last demesne… Stay on thy back, damsel.
Stay in thy grave. Refrain, refrain!