Two Poems by David W. Landrum

Apr 20th, 2010 | By | Category: Poetry

I Place An Old Lover of Mine in the Museum of Irrelevance

You are a museum of irrelevance.
—-Joshua Mehigan

It is here you’ll stay.
I have to donate you—
and don’t lay blame:  you were the one
who became a relic, galumphed
into the dismal swamp of old desire.
You are a specimen, so don’t insist
you aren’t exotic.

You’ll be housed in my favorite reliquary
alongside debates about
the five points of Calvinism and
which is the true apostolic church;
in the midst of lauds at the end
of conferences when secretaries
and students who “did the real work”
are recognized; among the sermons
I got on why I should not drink alcohol
and my mother’s admonitions
to not “travel in fast company.”

Rest here, on this buckboard,
this wheel-less Deacon’s Masterpiece
and open up the latest volume
by Colley Cibber.  It will be a long stay,
in this Purgatory without redemption.
Hell is too classy for the likes of you;
heaven too far to drive and drop you off.

The Town That Would Not Tolerate Ghosts

Ghosts here are trash, you hear the people say.
They howl along the roads, clog cemeteries.
They rattle chains and wail, get in the way
at spots they died and spots where they were buried.

The people honk their car horns when they see
a ghost—make obscene gestures and complain
(if someone’s with them), shake fists angrily
at hovering specters—no fear, just disdain.

The ghosts don’t understand.  Repeatedly
they play their role and gasp at the reaction
the locals give.  The notoriety
they thought they would enjoy, the satisfaction

that should be theirs from scaring people silly
does not materialize. They talk it over.
“I howled at him,” says one.  “The damned hillbilly
just laughed.”  Another says, “I tried to hover

“above a woman’s bed. I heard her scoff.
I rattled chains and moaned out loud and deep.
The biddy only laughed and flipped me off—
and then rolled over and went back to sleep.”

The ghosts are disillusioned.  Some have left
and others say they’ll probably pull up stakes
real soon. “It’s bad enough when you’re bereft
of life,” they note, “but this—well this thing takes

the cake. Whoever thought they wouldn’t care
a tinker’s damn for spirits from the grave?
I thought at least I’d pull off one good scare,
and get some satisfaction—then they rave

and sneer and spit, honk horns and cuss at me.
One yelled out, ‘Get a life!’ the other day.
Now isn’t that the height of irony?”
Then they fall silent.  What more can they say?


David W. Landrum’s poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including The Blind Man’s Rainbow, The Dark Horse, Small Brushes, Web Del Sol, and many others.  He edits the on-line poetry journal, Lucid Rhythms,

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