Live as if you were already dead. –Zen Admonition
Oh yeah, you are. –Me
The dead woman smoked Top rolled
tobacco with the Mad Hatter as they walked
through oceans of tassel teased grain.
The dead woman and the Mad Hatter
roosted on a railroad trestle’s black iron
undercarriage as their words ebbed and flowed.
She closed her eyes and she laughed
as a train rode the rails over head,
blowing over the Mad Hatter’s rant
about nuclear endings.
The dead woman’s cattle marker
in bright red spread
from wonder into wonder existence opens
The Mad Hatter called her a hippy,
and placed her in his heart.
The dead woman watched as the Mad Hatter
danced a disk sander over his old brown Sirocco.
“I named him Rusty,” said the Mad Hatter.
She relished his whacky cackling
beneath a screeching shower of sparks
sailing stars over Rusty’s silver-swirled hide.
Later, the Mad Hatter drove
Rusty and the dead woman
screaming over Montana gravel,
gallivanting, galvanizing, gathering
baby’s breath, rosebuds and skulls.
The dead woman piled bones like the Mad Hatter piled pianos.
She roller-skated circles
around the Mad Hatter’s Chickering Grand.
Hardwood gymnasium floors facilitated her flow
as the Mad Hatter’s limber fingers
set the piano’s strings resounding
between the spaces of places
that grew through their lives.
But that was a long time ago.
More about the Dead Woman and the Mad Hatter
The dead woman soaks in some story
of car trouble, the highway, a truck.
Her husband explains the Mad Hatter’s mistake
from a medical point of view.
The dead woman ascertains that he
sustained injuries beyond return.
She hears on the news that the Mad Hatter jumped.
Deep coma sets in and she waits.
She silently wishes for one more walk
with the Mad Hatter’s rants running by.
But the Mad Hatter loses the battle, and
they harvest his heart and his eyes.
The dead woman swallows sorrow’s dark weight.
She rants, she writes, and she cries.
She rides her bike to the ranch supply store
then heads to the Interstate bridge.
She crawls underneath on the iron supports
scrawls the missing Mad Hatter a message
and places him in her heart.
The dead woman wishes him serious peace, and hopes
Death takes the Mad Hatter dancing.
A shout out to all the poets at Big Tent Poetry! I've missed you. This piece is my take on a prompt offered under the Big Tent. Pieces of the story are true, but in keeping with my history with the "Mad Hatter," there is plenty of embellishment.
In my take on the prompt, I am the dead woman. Enjambment is a new idea for me, and while Dead Person poems true to form include it, mine does not. I wrote part one in the past tense, and part two in the present tense.
My friend is gone, he passed last week surrounded by his family. Forever he'll live in my heart.