by: Rodger Kamenetz
These prose poems by Rodger Kamenetz consider moments of empty epiphany which, though full of rich perception, fail to convey a larger sense of meaning, a grander theme or story, leaving us alone with the nothing but quotidian grandeur of the self: “…a mirror for the rest of your life. The next half would fold over this one.”
The Remedy for the Remedy
Remembering his death, the young soldier stood under a sun. It was his duty to guard the Earth against the rain. What futility the old guard said. He had retired underneath an umbrella. Thousands of wasted hours weighed on him like Alaska. You’ll never lift Alaska sang a chorus of forgotten wives. They were off duty permanently. Hurray for marriage went the chorus. There was some kind of musical going on in his forehead. It felt like a headache. Out of an eye with an eye on it, worry looked enormous. Make mine a tater tot then said the sullen gypsy. Long lines of weather could be read on his forehead. Someone had stolen his white horse and now it had grown old in Paris without him. It’s starting to rain the young soldier shouted. What do I do now?
—Really, almost anything.
–for George P
Your cigarette butt rolled across the fresh tar. With sweet precision the sun launched its pink light. Another day ends in glory. You saw a pinch of the moon where clouds flared through a row of jagged cypress. The perspective of a job well done gave its vanishing point away and spread. The ladder clipped the gutter and rattled as your sneaker weighed its rung. One more sweep of the smoothed black pool, a mirror for the rest of your life. The next half would fold over this one. The roof would take on the sun and its stars and all the heavy clouds. The blackness would take on the blackness.
Rodger Kamenetz is the author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night’s Dream. His books of poetry include The Lowercase Jew (Northwestern) and To Die Next To You (Six Gallery). He is working on a book of prose poems. He lives in New Orleans.