“Being a Good Man” by Gaylord Brewer

Gaylord Brewer


I’m sick of lugging this satchel
of bones from office
to woods, alphabetizing each knuckle,
burying hip joint or femur.
I get older; the bag gets heavier.

And this black hat pulled low
across my eyes like a coffin lid,
I don’t care anymore for
its rakish angle. I’d like to launch it
into some heavenly wind.

My clogs are out of fashion,
two soggy boats shuffling over a swamp
of bile. What’s the point
of silk socks with hearts
when all the world’s immutable mud?

And who can stand one more hour
in this morgue laughingly called my study,
steel drawers and shadow,
corpses of books stuffed to ceiling?
I need a tailor, an architect,

fellows who enjoy the trade
who’ll abide no more deathly nonsense.
A cutaway tux, track lighting.
Barring that I’ll wallow in blood.
I’ll kill us both every day of our lives.

from Rattle #18, Winter 2002
Tribute to Teachers

Rattle Logo