Monday, February 6, 2017

The Runned-Over Dog You Loved, or: Rest in Peace, Thomas Lux


Thomas Lux
Your baby grows a tooth, then two,
and four, and five, then she wants some meat
directly from the bone.  It’s all

over: she’ll learn some words, she’ll fall
in love with cretins, dolts, a sweet
talker on his way to jail.  And you,

your wife, get old, flyblown, and rue
nothing.  You did, you loved, your feet
are sore.  It’s dusk.  Your daughter’s tall.
Damn. More poems HERE.  

Thomas Lux
Boil it down: feet, skin, gristle, 
bones, vertebrae, heart muscle, boil
it down, skim, and boil
again, dreams, history, add them and boil
again, boil and skim
in closed cauldrons, boil your horse, his hooves,
the runned-over dog you loved, the girl
by the pencil sharpener
who looked at you, looked away,
boil that for hours, render it
down, take more from the top as more settles to the bottom,
the heavier, the denser, throw in ache
and sperm, and a bead
of sweat that slid from your armpit to your waist
as you sat stiff-backed before a test, turn up
the fire, boil and skim, boil
some more, add a fever
and the virus that blinded an eye, now’s the time
to add guilt and fear, throw
logs on the fire, coal, gasoline, throw
two goldfish in the pot (their swim bladders
used for “clearing”), boil and boil, render
it down and distill,
that for which there is no
other use at all, boil it down, down, 
then stir it with rosewater, that
which is now one dense, fatty, scented red essence
which you smear on your lips
and go forth
to plant as many kisses upon the world
as the world can bear! 

Thomas Lux

The devil’s in my neck.
Everything I hear is overviolined,
even the wind, even the wind.
It’s like walking in nurdles up to my chest,
squeaky and slow.
It’s spring, the blooming branches
nearly hide the many dead ones.
A squirrel, digging for a nut, upends my frail
tomato plant and fails
to replant it, even though he has the tools.
I find this kind of squirrely oblivion everywhere.
I was a man filled to the top
of my spine, filled to the lump
on the back of my head, with hope.
Then I read a few thousand history books.
Little, and nothing, perturbs me now.
Even the beheadings, even the giant meat hooks
in the sky, more frequent each day,
bother me not
a tittle, not a jot.


  1. The Judgement Of Things Moving Through Time: No Surprises, and Nothing New Under The Sun. Not even meathooks, not even Magnolias.

    Is it because we're jaded? Sick with Experience? And the intoxication of Youth with all the first-times can see more clearly How, and Which, and What?

  2. And you, your wife, get old
    Thomas Lux, "A Little Tooth"

    Well, my son, life is like a beanstalk, innit?
    Keith Reid, "Glimpses of Nirvana"

    an episode from my adventures as a time traveller from the first half of the twentieth century at the montgomery college library, rockville md, 2017, wednesday morning

    1)i asked the desk attendant where i could find a xerox machine

    1a)she didn't recognize the term "xerox machine", so i amended it to "photocopy machine"

    2)there are no longer any photocopy machines in the library - they have been phased out

    3)there is a scanner, the output of which can be saved to usb or sent to one's email

    4)in a different building on campus one can obtain photocopy services

    i remember back in the 1950s my grandparents would refer to the "frigidaire" - i knew what they meant, of course, they had used that word as long as i had known them