The best short novel in poetry form ever!
Tony Brewer has appeared in Bathtub Gin, decomP, Flying Island, and Poetry Midwest, and has work forthcoming in the anthology And Know This Place: Poetry of Indiana (Indiana Historical Society Press). His first book is The Great American Scapegoat (2006). He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
from The dead don't get off easy
Haven't left, always leaving
enough of themselves behind
to impress the veil between us.
Filled with hidden anger
and a disquieting need for attention
amid a constant human static
only the most violent revenant can penetrate,
we hear and ignore weak spirits
who never make their presence known
and so remain transparent.
It's loneliness that catches
and keeps our memories of a life,
while ghosts only want to be
here again, climbing back
through the vault of our senses
to arrive where we would rather be left alone.
Their echoes sound in empty rooms
we have just departed,
reminding us we too are not long for this world
and the next is just bearable upon release
if one can withstand the solitude
pushing a draft through the window sash
and billowing a curtain into something vaguely familiar
until we become see-through ourselves.