Jack

o’lantern
carved out
ten days ago

abandoned
gone to hell
during a stretch
of warm weather

after
All Saints’
All Souls’
Guy Fawkes’

on the front porch –
caved in, turning
mushy from
the bottom up

ancient holy days
forgotten rites
failed conspiracy

mottled black
inside –
               hacked,
shrunken lid that
no longer fits –
fool’s cap

scraggly teeth
gone dull now, eyes
squinched –
             candle
                   lit for the last time,
        glimmering

slashes of light
Chinese character
                   indecipherable

and that uncle,
the Marine Corps recruit –
     stumbling down
     the steps of the train
     drill sergeant screaming


transorbital lobotomy
back during the crazy time
in the late Forties –
the Frances Farmer days

“it was easy
                   you just
punched it
through the inside
corner of the eye
                   like
sticking a brush
down a toilet bowl
and swishing it around”

sodden mass

old pumpkin, far
from the fields,
never to be eaten,
never to be used

to be cast out

emblem
fire
darkness


© 2005 Jared Carter

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