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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Sunday, September 23, 2012


My dear friend and beloved poet Malinda Markham left the world last week. I wrote this poem years ago when Josh Bell had an idea for an anthology of poets writing elegies for other poets while they were still living. I will miss her dearly.

Elegy with Line Breaks
 For Malinda Markham

The world was glass and she was shaking it up
like a globe of fog,
sharp rain falling in open mouths.

    Some men have been known to wear skirts.
    She found this intolerable.

She drove a beige car carefully to the larger beige room with many corridors.
There the machine piled papers like blades.
As she leaned back 17 degrees,

      watched red poppies burst on the backs of eyelids.
    She intended to unfold beauty. The colors were brilliant, like birds.
      Her skin, she grinned, only came out at night.

Bluish she called it, and fell decisively off the stool.
She accumulated language like the angles of a five car pile up,
peered over the edge of a hard wood chair,
demanded we stopped making such tiresome sense.

         She died many times. After, she’d shrug,
        walk back in the house: It must’ve been the blue pill.

There were stories of solitude, magazines, a red door, bottomless grief.

           To see it, You had to read between the ions,
          with kaleidoscope glasses.