write a poem about a specific place — a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.
Five Years Three Ghosts One Light 2 April 20 1951 hrs
Before the sun came up
I’d sit, hunched over
Smoking the last road cigarette.
With anger, disgust and weariness
I’d make the 35 steps to the smoke pit.
Three benches, that fit no more than two people, I’d always occupy the one with cup holders.
The covering was a slatted roof ten feet in the air that kept no rain nor snow off the inhabitants.
We would have our daily communion and many times I would be the priest providing the sacrament of fire.
Those who needed my unassigned services knew where to find me if the inside office was empty.
There was one whom I would bypass my morning ritual in order to convince him, and by extension myself, not to extinguish our light. His name is carved in my lungs. He never partook in the poisoned huffing, but stood a respectable distance to not offend his nostrils or our particular sensibilities.
Another of my congregants walked on air as he entered the temple of my daily dread. He would announce himself and await for our monthly meetings. His fate was in stark contrast to his energy. His light snuffed in front of his child by one who would have been better if not born.
The third, she came a few times. Her grim reaper was just a half breath behind her, yet she denied its existence. Gazing into her eyes in my confessional stall, no life was present, the soul screeching in deafening silence. Her spouse already in mourning, she never had a chance. When her body accepted defeat, her mind had no choice but to succumb.
All this within 9 months birthed my exodus from the olive drab lands of wounded warriors. My years netted a thousand instant connections. My mega church was on solid footing, and I dashed away from it before the hammer fell, before the reorganization took hold. Now in my underground hovel, I peek out, afraid to touch another individual, afraid to speak on the banalities of the day. Staying apart, arms outstretched, no nearer than fingertip to fingertip. My new accommodations have been deemed infected by the disease that spews forth from the spittle on our lips.
There is oblivion awaiting, as patient as a streetlamp. Do we dare approach it and become bathed in it final embrace, or lead with heads bowed, teeth grinding and our combined wills pushing our advance. Do we dare investigate what lurks on the other side. I fear we have not the gall to take one step closer, thereby our doom has already befallen our connected tribe. As we toss the match mindlessly on the gasoline soaked floor. This our last supper, men murmuring about the last game they saw.