Friday, March 28, 2008


Anasazi Zombie

I’d been expecting it for so long that when I finally saw

the zombie as I mowed the lawn in my old sneakers

I almost had a heart attack and died.

The old mower puttered off and some crazy silence

gripped me by the chest, the automatic shutoff of the heart

kicking up some dust and clicking into the azaleas.

Art condescends to life so easily, that zombie

shambling out of a movie into my makeshift life

only to hit the kill-switch.

I’d always wanted to be a painter,

but now it was too late, the only thing to paint

are stretching hands, and without an audience,

no real reason to paint them.

Last week I warned my daughter about snakes

in the backyard. Now we’ll all have to get on the roof

or try to drive to a prison. Razor-wire

keeps the bad thoughts inside, so my therapist says

every time I tell him about the zombies coming.

If we could make it to the desert we could live on a mesa

and drink cactus juice, hollow history out of rock walls

and paint our own hands as warning signs to the future,

stop sign held up to history. I’d like to see you paint that,

maestro. Then after a while in the caves we’d hear

a voice coming, the great spirit, drying our tears

and carrying us away through the wind in our mouths.

My heart starts to beat again. That was a close one.

Look again, there’s no zombie. Only my neighbor is mowing

his grass just like a mirror of me, and is he clutching

his chest or is he clutching at me. I smile and wave.

Maybe I’ll go inside and lie down in the grave for a while.


Future Statues

After the zombie uprising

there will be statues of them in the park.

Of course we will have to make them

because they won’t have the dexterity.

We will have to sneak them in

without being eaten. Such is the risk.

The nudes will be noble and the horses

will all be on their sides instead of rearing.

We will make the rules, a zombie with its arm

raised will mean the statue was made by

a family member who hadn’t been eaten,

a zombie on all fours will mean that the family

managed to brain her before she got any of them,

and of course, a platter of severed heads

splashing in a fountain will mean that an entire

community had been killed only on suspicion

of infection. This one will be placed low

so that any new zombies traversing the square

will trip over the bronze heads.

Once we’ve gotten a lid on the whole thing

we can come back and arrange the markers back

into strip malls and car washes. Until then

Sculptor will be the most prized of all jobs.

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