It began as the GODFATHER OF MATH, evolved into the GOODFATHER OF MATH. Now this. Go figure...

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = G. CARLIN...Stain glass, engraved glass, frosted glass
–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES ... Music is the mathematics of the gods=PYTHAGORAS ... Nothing is more fluid than language = R. L. SWIHART
I cannot live without the oxygen of laughter = DAWN POWELL ... But laughter cannot survive without the hydrogen of gravitas = PAUL OLIVERIO

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rest In Peace, Max Ritvo, But Your Poems Will Live Forever


I touch my palms to the floor

and granite rhinos surge up my arms

and lock in my shoulders.

Water flecks on my back

and my head is shaved

by bladed cream.
But then my time in my body is up

and it’s time for my mind:

It seeks wisdom

and the rhinos fall into a well,

their faces falling apart—
I want to know what their last words are

but their lips are fading into the purple.
I put my hands into the ground again

but rhinos come only for the body

and never for the mind.
I used to want infinite time with my thoughts.

Now I’d prefer to give all my time

The acclaimed poet
died this week.

Max was twenty-five years old.

He succumbed to a life-long
battle with cancer.

 Here is another of his poems:

Earthquake Country Before Final Chemotherapy

For the first time tonight,
as I put my wife to bed
I didn’t have to shove her off me.

She turned away in her sleep.
I wondered what was wrong with my chest.
I felt it, and the collar bone
spiked up, and where she’d rest
her cheek were ribs.

Who wants to cuddle a skeleton?
My skeleton wandered from the house
and out onto the street.

He came, after much wandering, to the edge of a bay
where a long bridge headed out—
the kind that hangs itself with steel

and sways as if the wind could take
away its weight.

There were mountains in the distance—
triangles of cardboard—
or perhaps the mist was tricking his eyes.

The instant the mist made him doubtful,
it turned to rain.

The rain covered everything. The holes
in his face were so heavy
he wondered if the water was thickening—
if he was leaching into them.

He panicked. Perhaps he was gunked up
with that disgusting paste,
flesh, all over again.

If I were alive I’d have told him
I was nothing like what he was feeling—

that the rain felt more like
the shell of a crab
than the way I’d held him.

That it felt more like him.
But I wasn’t alive—
I was the ghost in the bridge
willing the cars to join me,

telling them that death was not wind,
was not weight,

was not mist,
and certainly not the mountains—

that it was the breaking apart,
the replacement of who, when, how, and where
with what.

When my skeleton looked down
he was corrupted

in the femur by fracture,
something swelling within.

Out of him leaked pink moss.
Water took it away. 

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