Bodies shift underground and
it is difficult to keep the dead
where they are. Among gravity
engineers it is questioned
whether or not the earth moves
because the dead push against it.
Plate Tectonics (n.) is defined by
Douglas's Dictionary as, "the dead
expanding under the blooms
of willow roots." Whether a force
makes currents rise depends on
how many dead reach for the moon.
At his grave, knowing he was no longer
there, I watched the movements and memories
of him descend through me as if I were
a synaptic water park, a faint
scent of finality, like vomit on the air.
All is noisome outside a watery cavern.
The dead are delivered. It is
the living who must endure the landscape.
He built the frame and skeleton and sealed it up.
This is the end of architecture, he thought.
Before he could get the attention
of the people, the harelip child
came crawling out of the manhole.
The people sensed other developments,
ones more flexible and achievable
than his domicile. It was at that point
the architect realized the dream of being
the end was only the beginning.
With his hands crumbling the graphs
he explored other avenues.
Giving up steel and stained glass
he chose to work with earthier substances
such as wood and hay, but even this decision
was fleeting. The present seemed to be
drifting out of reach. Everyone knew
the future was in boats.
I feel the skeletal
blow life into me.
socket, the ghost
of an eye,
the world of industry.
the earth has
to smoke. Just feel
out. And if you
can't make it,
in its coughing
will carry you.
Douglas Korb lives in Marlboro, VT, with his wife and son. Aside from writing poems, he pretends to be an astronomer and inserts phrases such as "that's a deep caldera" and "what a unique obliquity" into conversations. His poems have appeared in RHINO, 5AM, Poet Lore, The Innisfree Poetry Journal and elsewhere.