It is my job to shake out the ghosts.
I grab them each by the shoulders
And off the back porch give them
A snap of my arm that creates
A grand horizontal roll, ending
In a crack as their feet are forced
Furiously up and there is the thunder
Of a nearly corpuscular bend in the wind. Dust
Goes everywhere, along with collected
Crumbs of hurried meals and colonies
Of lint. Each I give four or
Five sense-settling snaps and then
Lay them short and tidy across the banister.
Oh, don’t worry.
By night fall they will be as right
As gloom, the day’s baggage
Whipped out of them, the dull
Of their existence now a pure
Gray. Shriven of earthly clutter
They can focus on their tasks at hand.
This is Tuesday’s work.
Wednesdays I groom the goblins, arrange
Stray horrors like-to-like on the mantle.
It does not take all day, and I read afterwards
The titles of the Master’s books, infer knowledge.
Thursdays the necromancers meet
In the dining room and I serve
Lunch, then polish the dinette chairs
Once the assembly has dragged itself
Unhappily away. Friday
I share a spell or two with the souls
Of witches burned or hung, pressed
Or dunked. It is good to see them corporeal again,
One day a week. Weekends are free,
And Monday is my weekday off.
But Tuesdays are the best: ghosts
In the basket behind me, ghosts
Doubled over at the rail; in the frightened air
Clouds of unrelated dust appearing to be ghosts.
And ghosts of care they are. Ghosts
Of my understanding, ghosts
Of my occupation. Don’t
Think it odd. I pay taxes.
I shop for night gowns.
I haunt the same thin slices
Of our stifling, mundane life as do you.
I just keep the presence of the past
Presentable; and I know what, after all,
I will need to do to keep you.
lives in the lower right hand corner of Virginia, with his power-lifter wife and a
number of house animals. His 2013 e-book, “Constant Animals”, unruly fictions,
is available at all the usual e-book sites; buy it, and feel good about saving
jobs in the brewing industry. Recent work is out in Corium, Analog Science
Fiction, Spittoon, Poet Lore, Mobius and many other places. He webs at
www.kpoyner.com, where you can find links to purchase his book, more work, and
stunning pictures of his wife lifting. Ken's poem,
The Stray Marriage,
appears in the October 2014 issue of HelloHorror, his poem
appears in the Spring 2015 issue, his poem
On the Side of the Law
appears in the Halloween 2015 issue, and his poem
appears in the Summer 2015 issue of HelloHorror.
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