Oyster Boy Review 08  
  January 1998
» Cover

» Art
» Poetry
» Essays
» Reviews
» Contributors

» Oyster Boy Review
» Levee 67


And So I Sing to the Old Perpetual Death

C. Earl Nelson

as tho the women are not enough;
the jobs are not enough;
the automobiles and skyscrapers, insufficient;
the black lungs dripping with heat
miles of highway and belligerence, nothing.

i sing the old songs.

i sing to forget 28 years
and 35 women
and sing to forget that i kept
such boyish numbers in my pocket.

sing to grandfather long stiff,
to his tools rusting in a shed twenty miles
from here.

sing to my daughter
who i havent seen in two years.

i sing to the rats in cages.

i sing
to the ensuing death of my mother and father.

i sing to my loneliness.

i sing to the stench of twentydollar sex
in the front seat of a chrysler,

i sing to her sixhundred miles.

i sing to the old perpetual death,
to the graves freshly turned,
the bullets continuous,
the ropes stretching, the
tourniquet lashed
quickly to forget.

i sing to climb back into the womb.

i sing to charge the nightsky with fire
with phosphorescent leering eye.

sing to make widows lust
to drive the nails home,

i sing.