Haunted Hearing

                        in memory of Henrietta Epstein

Abruptly Henrietta remembered it was January 7th…,
Synchronicity is a bridge over time,
Talking about John Berryman the day he died.
One minute life’s a dream, the next a song…
Henrietta was such a poetry lover
She plucked a candle from her Hanukkah menorah
To commemorate the Oklahoma-born poet.
She told of John wildly drunk in Michigan
Shouting frenzied needing her naked and now
At a party held by patrons in upscale Birmingham,
Even flinging the glass that was shrieking to marble,
Articulating an imperfect present,
Redemption is at war with time.
If eternity is freedom why suffer for life?
“The Mississippi will have its way.” John jumped in,
“More bourbon please, more Baudelaire.”
“I could use one myself,” said Henry.
“Mr. Bones got a powerful thirst.” Henry laughed.
We shivered to the otherworldly recitations,
Our tribute to a poet turned séance to his voices.