The Peculiar Grammar of Ghosts

In the peculiar grammar of ghosts
a thing may weave around itself in a kind of claxon jazz
or whisper up the shiver-bone with an intent to make the place permanent.

Dip this in your eye-saucer babe--
let the penny drop on its edge in the old corpus callosum
where the grammar of your average ghost bursts up from the loam.

I'm telling you that ghosts aren't in the split wood of the vandaled hallway where the copper used to lay its head all venom-dozed inside its dark egg.

No. 

Listen.

Your really-there solid skull is just a rotunda to them.
It's an inside job, a throwing of the vox spiritus, with its own morphology, phonology, and colorful fucking patois.

So knock off straining the cosmic sandbox for that sublingual jolt, 
that glossolalia dune of Hot Truth, babe.
Stop drop and roll. 
Lie there and listen 
for the peculiar grammar of ghosts.

You are the baby on the monitor, a flesh pastry, a keeping-box
where spirits sometimes speak, like dry leaves falling
from the lips of not-there nightshades,
non-nuns with rulers more real than your surprised howls.
_______

for earthweal weekly challenge: "ghosts."





Comments

Mary said…
So much to contemplate.....I'm listening!
Susan said…
Wow! "Dip this in your eye-saucer babe--
let the penny drop on its edge in the old corpus callosum ..."
and
"Your really-there solid skull is just a rotunda to them."
cracked me up! The poem busts ghosts dead or alive.
It's a dance of the macabre, this grammar you describe.
Yet, in the end, I sobered up thinking of the possibilities.
Thanks, too, for the song, and your kin d words on my last 2 posts.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Loved everything from title to closing lines. Especially love "dip this in your eye-saucer babe." (How do you DO this?) And the "keeping-box where spirits sometimes speak." Fantastic!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Weirdly, now I am unable to leave a comment on your site with my tablet. Got up and fired up the computer to say how much I enjoyed your poem.
Sumana Roy said…
The problem with us is we can't lie and listen to what's been said; neither can we make amends and change. Sigh. I have understood the poem in my own way.
Brendan said…
Well firggen put friend. We are just as tone-deaf with ghosts as we are with our animal selves--"the baby on the monitor.." The tuning fork goes neti, neti, neti, a line of our Not's until we get to their Om. I so grooved to this.
Vivian Zems said…
Brilliant! Love the play on words and the “punchiness” of it all.
My fave.....” a throwing of the vox spiritus, with its own morphology, phonology, and colorful fucking patois.”
hedgewitch said…
First of all, you had me ready to break my keyboard into pieces and become a hot dog vendor at the very first stanza. Then I got the third; "...where the copper used to lay its head..."etc (!!) Yet killin me! There's a wonderful nuance to this voice (which occasionally reminds me of coal, if she had gone to Harvard) that is able to straddle a variety of tones and attitudes, and an immediacy to it that compels investment and my own personal awe at its intelligence. Just stunning,Shay, and tons of fun at the same time.
hedgewitch said…
"got TO the third.." and "Yer" not "yet" I hate this phone.
Carrie Van Horn said…
You always have me hanging on your every word Shay! I love so much about this, but will mention that I love love love "Dip this in your eye-saucer babe"....I am listening, and always looking for the voice of a nearby ghost. This truly is a hymn for homeless ghosts.
Yvonne Osborne said…
There is so much here to admire and honestly, I don't even feel qualified to comment. That said...
what I love:
The title
Dip this in your eye-saucer babe--
(those fucking hot truth babes!)
and finally those nuns, yeah, I remember.

I didn't just read this once. It's like that.
brudberg said…
I knew it... it's the ghosts that should teach us. We just have to listen... Love the thought of a grammar of ghosts.