Saturday, August 13, 2022

Three Poems by Sy Roth

Can’t Kill the Beast


There it is again,

That desert highway

Rolling lanes of emptiness

Sand crawling along with the wind

Swept one side to the next

Mini- hills coupling,

Swarming sweatily among the dry detritus

Until new winds glibly wreak havoc with their foundations

While the hillocks reform endlessly.


The beast winning the battles,

Roars its pleasure

Over the bleached bones that lay scattered

In their valley of life.


They have their sciences,

Their concocted salvation,

A salve on the miles that they envision

Stretching to forever

Even though the beast lies in wait

And they seek to prolong inevitability.


The beast will roar

And add their bones eventually

To the hills of sand

That continues its march to the end

While they drink their potions,

Inject their medicines in a hocus pocus frenzy.


While the beast lies in wait

Ready to roar with its renewed laughter

At their shades, their ghosts, and their spirits.



Cruel Quarters


What a cruel house.

It consumed her in inches

Like her life that waxed and waned in its own time.


She was struck with trepidation

Down to two, perhaps three cigarettes a day

Engulfing her lungs in an alveoli death.


The room closed in around her

Walled fortress that could not keep the boatman

From traversing the inky sea.


Finality, her home a jar of her essence

In her own time

Brain bleeding from exhaustion.


Where did all her thoughts go into nether regions

While sitting on the portable crapper

Providing some relief as life sped out of her?


Nearly a millennium of a curmudgeonly trespass

On sheets of bed-logged linen, rolls of cleansing wipes,

Papers of a life consumed into a nothingness.


They mourned for two hours

And gladly left her remains encased in her bronze crypt

With the one picture of a self who can only be imagined.



Is This Dante’s Inferno?


Just David the instructor and I were there

Residing in the quiet

Thinking nothing special

When the door creaks open 11:30 a.m.


Ten minutes away from the start of class.

Some shuffle in in restless anticipation.


Drifters huddle in small groups at desks

Bending close to the ears of classmates

Who in consternation

Work at the words they hardly hear

Struggling to make meaning of inanity.


The instructor hasn’t begun yet in earnest.

He distributes dessert bars in anticipation

Of an hour with King George I.


A tentative being halts at the door,

Head jerking this way and that.


In the back of the room, one reads Killing Reagan.

David in front sets up the video.


The tentative intruder asks, “Is this Dante’s Inferno?”


“No, it’s next door,” I blurt.


David and I stare at one another.

The door slams shut as she hurriedly exits

And we tacitly agree

Behind our eyes—

We nod,

Perhaps it is.





Sy Roth is still writing and trying to find his answer to the darkness.


1 comment:

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