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poet D.G. Geis

Tips on How to Choose Clothing for the Deceased

by D.G. Geis


Something dark is best.
Perhaps a Sunday suit

or formal business attire.
Something you might wear

for a special occasion—
like interviewing for a new job.

Your new position
will require a certain panache.

Stiff determination
and a resolute smile

should make a lasting impression
on your new Employer.

Later, as your suit empties
and you fade slowly

into the woodwork,
it will come to you

how deep
life’s roots really run—

two of which
are already knocking,

at your new front door.



Hexagram 23

“Bo” (Splitting Apart)

For D.S.

The last man to die the death of 1000 cuts
was a Mr. Fou Tchou-Li. The year was 1905.

In Chinese this form of execution
is called Lingchi or “slow slicing.”

In English there is no exact equivalent,
but “death by fillet” is a good approximation.

The French philosopher Georges Bataille
was said to meditate every morning

on a photograph of Mr. Fou Tchou-Li
midway through the process of his

deconstruction. The object in question
has both arms removed and two

gentlemen are assiduously severing
the quadriceps femoris. The skin

and muscle on both sides of his
upper rib cage have been folded back

to better view the lungs which
continue to function as evidenced

by the look on Mr. Fou Tchou-Li’s face,
a signification which betokens neither agony

nor ecstasy, but something in-between.
It is the astonishment of a thinker

in the midst of a great thought, losing himself
a little here, a little there, until the answer floats by

so pure, so final, so free—
and like all great thoughts,

just out of reach.



State of the Universe Address


Lights out
in this arm of the galaxy

where things spiral wondrously
out of control.

Stars glittering like sequins
on a party girl’s miniskirt

vanilla sprinkles frosting the void
of a trillion year old birthday cake.

And the Good Lord,
our Birthday Boy,

poised in his high chair
waiting patiently, so patiently,

to blow out the candles.




“And that was the whole show.”
—Charles Simic


Busboy by day,
Philosopher by night;

This strange world of
Disappearing tablecloths

And naked tables
Flashing leg.

A little cheesecake
For the diners

Or maybe a fork
Out of thin air.

A brief demonstration
In four parts

And the metaphysician
Struts his Stuff.

The cosmology of tableware,
The ontology of napkins:

There’ll be no applause
When he makes

Nothing from Something
And hardly a glance

When the diners levitate
On a cloud of atoms.

Prix fixe, the last course
Is a mystery.

This sleight of hand,
This aproned magician,

Bending over a table
Reshuffling the universe

One spoon at a time.





DG GeisD.G. Geis lives in Houston, Texas. He has an undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in Philosophy from California State University. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Fjords, Memoryhouse, 491 Magazine, Lost Coast, Blue Bonnet Review, The Broadkill Review, A Quiet Courage, SoftBlow International Poetry Journal, Blinders, Burningword Literary Journal, Poetry Scotland (Open Mouse), Crosswinds, Scarlet Leaf, Zingara, Sweet Tree, Atrocity Exhibition, Driftwood Press, Tamsen, Rat’s Ass, Bad Acid, Crack the Spine, Collapsar, Grub Street, Slippery Elm, Ricochet, The Write Place at the Write Time, Steam Ticket, Razor, Origami, Matador, Cheat River, Euphemism, Two Cities, The Hartskill Review, Sugar House, Literary Orphans, Dash, Zabaan, Clare, Panoplyzine, Boston Accent, Silkworm, Drylandlit, Permafrost, Gingerbread House, and The Machinery. He will be featured in a forthcoming Tupelo Press anthology of 9 New Poets and is winner of Blue Bonnet Review’s Fall 2015 Poetry Contest. He is also a finalist for both The New Alchemy and Fish Prizes (Ireland).