On death and the spirit.

“ … winds can visit my carcass

plus perhaps maybe recall

us dust to dust to dust …”

You can enjoy this poem as a broadside by dragging the image below to your desktop — or scroll down to read as regular text.

Holy Smoke Vanities

i. Delusions of Grandeur

R.I.P Tom Wolfe, 1931–2018

Snubbed, existing barely, sleeping on the street, oy…

we too coulda been Stanford U intellectual snobs

elevated by self-important societal smolder

blown up carcinogenic bonfires’ gasbag

refinery good old boy asses who was

always trying to avoid us hoi polloi

’cept to bogart homeless for tokes.

ii. Spiritual Reestimation

Scintillating gritty gray ash

no worms to try dem bones

dispersed under flowering

trees. It seems most sensible.

Cremation reconnoitered

jumpy as puppets strung

out on such secular strings

some rational revelations

thus we bought two plots

just equidistant between

both sets of our parents

so the children and theirs

scattered to fare-thee-well

winds can visit my carcass

plus perhaps maybe recall

us dust to dust to dust …

iii. Dark Sleep Under Dung-Hill Haiku

“If God is God He is not good,

If God is good He is not God;

Take the even, take the odd.”

                         — Archibald MacLeish, J.B.

Horror the horror

child dying first — bullcrap on

God’s honorific.

iv. Bemused Ignobility

Raconteur racketeer

— once rascally white

unwisecrackerer snob,

now drab crappy hack

gibberish piecework

jibberjabbery jobber

do not nostalgically

gaze back to the light

or sadly front toward

darker depredations:

look forward straight

or youz upside-down.


Gerard Sarnat’s honors include the Dorfman Prize, a first place in a Poetry in the Arts competition, and nominations for Pushcarts and Best of the Net. His work has appeared in many journals, including Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Poetry Quarterly, Free State Review, Poetry Circle, Poets And War, Texas Review, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review, and Review Berlin. His books are Homeless Chronicles, Disputes, 17s, and Melting the Ice King, all from Pessoa.

Featured image: Satan Going Forth from the Presence of the Lord and Job’s Charity. WIlliam Blake, 1825.