really//i don’t know him

the dead man loves a cyclone
more than sunlight
he glides knife-tight over riffs
and washes his clothes in blue lagoons
with million sparkling fish

he doesn’t mind
the smell& finding them
later in his pockets

he refuses to mis-cooperate
with anyone
plays hop-scotch with a wooden leg
and smokes thick cigars
in a wool-swing from Bolivia

the dead man
wears his shirts un-ironed
but loves polished shoes
and golden earrings
like a pirate

he rides silvery mountainbikes
on a volcano rim
thick snow clouds in the folds
under his breast
&he wears yellow lipstick
un-explaining why&where&everything

he spraypaints chords&only majors
on his neighbor’s doors
to cheer them up
as they pull in the driveway
heavy rucksack with the happenings of the day

&in the nights he drinks mojitos
on the porch under the moon’s lush silhouette
with heavy breasts
(just as they feel before the period)

&he leans back
into that space before&
how he left
plays chess all night
with swarms of fireflies
(&never wins)
but talks them into practicing
another tango step with him
cause he still dreams

of living


over at dVerse, Grace has us write from a dead man’s perspective…. have a go? doors open at 3pm EST…


44 responses to “really//i don’t know him

  1. you are up early..

    really a fun piece…loves a cyclone is a cool start
    but playing hopscotch ona wooden leg
    and the cigar in bolivia are my fav lines…

    the final lines…ah, if we only lived
    half as much…


  2. Actually your deadman doesn’t sound like he has a bad life…or should I say a bad death. LOL. I like that he still dreams of living, and I guess I can understand why. And I suppose it doesn’t matter that he smokes cigars as he is dead anyway — no harm can come from them.

  3. Some people have a good life. It seems your dead man has a good death. He certainly knows how to make the most of death. Maybe this is a reminder that we should make the most of life.

  4. I love this poem … a lot, C … cuz that’s what it’s really like … in the city, in the country … ask anyone … just, let’s not expect an honest answer from anyone. Always, cat.

  5. He comes alive, sharp and unique, weaving and dancing to life in his own time and music ~ Very creative images specially playing chess and tango stepping with fireflies ~ I would love to meet him someday, smiles ~

  6. I think the hope is here as: ‘he spraypaints chords&only majors
    on his neighbor’s doors
    to cheer them up’ ~ interesting personality 🙂

  7. for me, reading this, C., the protagonist is dead person, without gender, & the heavy breasts & yellow lipstick substantiate this. It really does feel like, look like, sound like a Marvin Bell poem; congrats; I, too, like the lines /plays chess all night/with swarms of fireflies/(&never wins)/.

  8. in the nights he drinks mojitos
    on the porch under the moon’s lush silhouette…..made me smile and love that he dreams about living 🙂

  9. Wonderful. The poem has a touch of life and to find it in the description of the dead man adds into the effect of your words.The vivid details are interesting and the pace of the poem is great. 🙂

  10. Just fantastical, to ride a mountain bike on the rim of a volcano…I almost envy your dead man…there’s something on my to do list when the time arrives…I’ll go pump up the tyres on my pushbike! ha ha 🙂

  11. Aw. Wonderful to live all teh options at once! How did you even imagine them? Wow. I don’t think they are random. Makes me think of the visual character Beetlejuice–but I like your dead man more.

  12. Such an upbeat look at the dead man, Claudia. There’s a commercial in the States about “the most interesting man in the world.” I think yours must be the most interesting dead man (not?) in the world. 🙂


  13. Okay, I TOTALLY want to hang out with him. He sounds like a hoot! I might have to skip the cycling around the volcano rim, though. I’ve tried that and find it a slight bit warm. 🙂

    Oh, what flights of fancy you create here, love it!! And the chords on the doors, Majors — how original and wonderful!!!


  14. Sounds like he’s having great fun … until the end, when it’s revealed as all nostalgia.

  15. Now I am sure you didn’t write this one with a straight face! You took the assignment and danced all over it. Well done Claudia! It is a treat to imagine him playing hopscotch with his wooden leg…