Tag Archives: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Funeral March for Gabo

In memory of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I wrote a new poem following my first one for him.

Image

Your life must have begun
when death rang the doorbell.
You shook hands
in a business deal
and negotiated terms and conditions.
What did death’s suitcase smell like?
Was there the mold
that comes with stillness,
or was it more like the dew
licking the flowers left on gravestones?
That must be when life began,
when you signed a contract
in red letter day ink
there on your doorstep.
Who else could have lived so fully
without first dealing with death?
You must have forgotten
where you’d left the contract years later,
on the table near the fruit bowl,
beneath your books or letters,
or misplaced somewhere
in your own seasoned suitcase.
When the contractors arrived
you probably made them coffee
while they waited for you to locate
your death certificate beneath your fan letters
and photographs and rough drafts.
They waited patiently
as you danced around the room
unpacking the puzzle-work of your life.
I’m sure you smiled
when you finally found the contract.
That’s how you left the world, Gabo,
by bragging to death
about the masterpiece you made of your life.

 

Birthday Poem for Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“If God hadn’t rested on Sunday, He would have had time to finish the world.”  -Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Marquez

Dear Gabo,

Thank you for showing me

that even if angels did plummet to Earth,

we would probably treat them

as we treat all strangers. Thank you

for your humor and your

observations on the banality of life,

which is our own fault. We may

in fact be in the company of angels,

but we would not notice.

We take the magic of this world for granted,

just as we would take real magic for granted.

I can listen to music from a tiny, shining box

through two buds connected by a smooth, white rope,

and I take it for granted. I can travel

to your country and visit you

by hopping on a winged ship

with a thousand travelers,

and I take it for granted. I can write

a letter to you on a humming typewriter

powered by manufactured lightning

extracted from three holes in the wall

through plastic and metal plumbing,

then send that letter through space and time

to an ethereal cloud encompassing the planet,

with the possibility of you reading it.

As a writer, you made beautiful

that which was ugly

and ugly that which was beautiful,

and you exposed

the underestimated incompleteness

of the world. For that, I am grateful.

Sincerely,

JK