I grew up in small town Kentucky and began writing at an early age. I love the challenges of creation versus the constant distraction of technological advancement. My work has appeared in places like McNeese Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Rattle. You can find out more about me at my website jaysizemore.com.
for James Tate
A poet dies
and people act surprised, as if they hadn’t seen him
making out with Death in the alley, his tongue
wagging freely through that empty jawbone.
Someone posts a sad status update
about how one poem pulled their newspaper boat life
from the flooded storm drain and set it on Lake Winnepesaukee,
only they leave their profile picture a rainbow
when everyone knows a person really in mourning
should change it to a photo of a wet dog smoking a cigar.
It’s only poets mourning poets anyway,
the musical chairs of back patting
stops to notice another empty seat added,
another Pulitzer Prize winner shuffled
into another library where no one reads
anything but Oprah Book Club selections,
and everyone’s waking up in bed a cockroach.
Did you hear the one about the writer with cancer?
Yeah, me neither, unless it was Stephen King
getting hit by a van on his morning jog,
and everyone gasped at the thought
of his son finishing The Dark Tower.
Most writers go gently into that good night,
disappearing before their names get spoken,
nothing but the scent of gunsmoke in an empty room,
a thing that rises like the book sales of a ghost.
©2016 Jay Sizemore