“This Boy is a Dead Man” by Seth Graves

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This Boy is a Dead Man

Boy: birthed in the dream of sheep
reared among wrath, mountain abandon,
fallen to a traditional horror—men
and women chanted dirges, linoi, Linus
Dear ghosts. Dear Delphics.
       —     And now I        just       can’t     remember        Bastille Day
                 in Bed-Stuy,
                 some pirate
                 clothing me hats
                 sweet revenge   —
while I started wildly for profit of those who live ill.

A sleep to make mankind so drowsy,
to dream of when day was day, night was night.
She asks, how many should I ask
—                       dihydrocodeinone
hydroponic          —
And rude tonics.

Regarding this underlying feeling
my wallet will be good as bone in two
weeks. The man who wrote this myth summary
shares my surname, and middle. Aulis
shares something like the worst case scenario
head: chopped like an iceberg
wedge in hopscotch days, tetherball memory, or
invasive cells bagging forebrain.

                  The Nymphean heracleon which has a club-like
                  root, was named after a certain nymph
                  deserted by Heracles, who died of jealousy;
                  it makes men impotent for the space of twelve days.
I’ve already been down so many greens I can’t
utter well. The purgatory between fact
and romance is germane to the issue, see:
How many days is a day of your love?
What’s the snuff of conversation, rouser?

Fact: romance is germane to sight, see:
divinity; divinity see: mythology, masculinity, salinity. I don’t
care if you take something from me, lips cajoling apples.
The operative question is do you want to dance (Hymn of Hamartia).
Just give seconds.


Seth Graves’s poems have appeared in No, Dear; Lyre Lyre; and Barrow Street, among others. He writes, edits, and teaches in New York City and holds an MFA in poetry from The New School and an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri.