Coincidentally

Everything Bad Is Good Again

My ghost is the most boring ghost.
He’s waving his arms in the distance,
but all he’s saying is stay where you are.

I like yours better, the way he surprises you.
The gifts he brings. Do you think it’s true,
nihilism’s unattractive? If you’re not French.

Cautious ghost, let’s not pretend
there are no switchblades in the shrubbery.
Each grain in that salt shaker’s a tiny landmine,
combust-white, blast-dusted…

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One response to “Coincidentally

  1. I find it really frustrating when somebody reads a poem of mine and tells me, “I want to hear more about this particular part.” I want to tell that person, “Hey, there is no more. Those are the words I have, right there.” But that’s the feeling I get here. I want more about your ghost, since I don’t fully understand the implications of what he’s saying. Is it a congratulatory gesture? Or one signifying danger all around? I feel like you use the “I like yours better” as a way of distracting from what is actually one of the best parts here (the first stanza).

    What I like about the first stanza: 1) the simple language 2) the idea that we all have a ghost that speaks to us but is not necessarily mystical or interesting 3) the use of italics to denote speech.

    I’m also curious about “the gifts he brings.”

    And to me the winner for best line is the last line. Even though it goes away from the simplicity of the first line (and thus maybe creates a little dissonance for me, especially with the ellipsis), the combinations are beautiful and multipurpose.

    I like the title.

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