September 19, 2019

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

“Gods of Death” and Other Poems by JC Mari

gods of death

field of clover spread

like multitude of hands

extended out for you,

and they trot

a mild-paced approach

river-stream of manes and

tongues and

eyes and

belly and hoof

breathing out a strength

you’ll never know,

like stained-glass

mandalas pierced by dawn

or storm on the eagle’s beak.


to each other and ourselves

we limp and gaze

our puzzlement away


secret enemies

of the wondrous empty all around.

this is also

how they will

approach and enter death.

you’d have to be a god to live

even a minute of your life

this way.


for the 2 or 3 who read my poems

when you ask

to read one of my poems

i’m 12 again,

untouched by whore and booze.

when you pick up

a copy of my book

tyrants’ banter is subdued

and flags stop swaying

like gaudy replacements

for love and soul:

the garish swagger

of patriots self-proclaimed

and bigots proud is silenced,

as relevant

as the mud on my boots.

when you read one of my poems

there’s no poverty, no

solitude, no

addictions lingering around

like pissed off bookies

come to collect,


no middle age


sure-footed to death.

when you read me

I believe


in things that don’t exist

and i thank you

for such a reprieve.

when you pick up

one of my books to read

possibility’s overcome probability

and a very gentle

kind of magic

walks hand in hand with me.


social media post

it’s you and

your ex-best friend and

some guy that

briefly was your lover,

sitting at a table

in a bar

that was torn down

a few years ago.

cigarette with your left

at an angle,


a la femme fatale,

eyes two small

bonfires on a winter beach.

You at 23,

cool and impervious

like a supple predator at dusk.

chasms of differing intent

always between us

then as well as now


no wonder you

swam spiders in my blood


no wonder here’s this

poem now

more than two decades later.

it’s you and

your ex-best friend and

someone who

briefly became a lover:

a master painter

could not have portrayed

the scene better


this cheap polaroid

uploaded to some site,

and it almost pins downtime

like words

scribbled on this paper.

Here’s another poem you’ll never see.


against work days

at work,

as if she hadn’t old me

she’s taking the day off

and staying home

to drink and smoke.

at work,

as if death were just

a prejudice for philosophers

or a snail thing that crawls

having sent letters in advance.

at work

while january struggles

with innocuous tragedy

and sterile farce

and what’s needed

is the kamikaze act of burning birds,

all over,

all over the intestines

of this cardboard cage.

* * *

J.C. Mari resides in Florida. He’s the author of the poetry collection “the sun sets like faces fade right before you pass out”. This is his first poetry collection on the Fictional Café.

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