Two Poems by D.G. Geis

If a human body falls from the top of the Empire State Building does it explode or remain intact?

A question not
to be entertained lightly.

Considering the terminal velocity
of mortal flesh,

its tendency to fall
at a constant rate,

and upon rare occasion
to bloom substantially.

To wake sleeping history
with a final jolt.

And grace the cover of Life–
refused in its entirety

by Miss Evelyn McHale
as she struck a limousine

from 86 stories up.
A confectioned angel

colorized in repose,
leaping from Observation

Deck to warranted conclusion,
a transaction both satisfying and complete:

that death is an abstraction
consummated only

by the concrete.

 

End Times Boogie
for J.N. Gray

The end of life as we know it
will probably not be as we know it.

I think of all the dead climbers
littering Everest,

poking out from the ice
like freezer-burned pot roasts.

I saw a photo of one the other day.
Only his shoulders and head were visible;

but his eyes were clear
as he gazed up to the summit

with all the astonishment of a first-grader
gifted a forever snow day.

Did he meet himself coming or going?
It hardly matters.

Sometimes, dear climber,
when you push the envelope,

the envelope pushes back.
Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective–

this question of the truth.
Like a squirrel circling a tree,

you know it’s there
because it keeps disappearing.

Meanwhile, on our dogged trek to the top,
scientists report that swarms of octopus

have begun colonizing the oceans.
Billions of them jetting through the dark.

Is it global warming
or has the baton simply passed?

I’ve seen YouTube videos
of just how fiendishly devious

these creatures are.
How an octopus named “Inky”

escaped from the National Aquarium
through a 2-inch drain pipe

by drawing himself out
like melted pizza cheese.

Eight arms, three hearts,
nine brains, suckers, venom, and a beak—

Mother Nature always rises
to the occasion.

I imagine when “it” finally comes
I’ll be playing gin rummy

with my wife and watching re-runs
of Downton Abbey on TV,

pondering whether it’s better
to live upstairs or downstairs.

There’ll be a knock at the door
and a glorified starfish

will gather me in its arms
for an oh so unforgettable

good-night kiss.

 

 

 

D.G. Geis lives in Houston, Texas. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fjords, Memoryhouse, 491 Magazine, Lost Coast, and Blue Bonnet Review among others. He will be featured in a forthcoming Tupelo Press chapbook anthologizing 9 New Poets and is winner of Blue Bonnet Review’s Fall 2015 Poetry Contest. He is editor-at-large of Tamsen and a finalist for both The New Alchemy (University of Alaska) and Fish Prizes (Ireland).