Bart Edelman

Even the Dead


I called the number you gave me;
No voice bothered to respond.
It wouldn’t be the first time
I tried contacting a kindred spirit,
Who could care less for communication,
Or me, if the truth be told.
I seem to suffer, quite often,
From a low grade personality—
Disorder, so far over the border,
My citizenship has been revoked
On more than a few occasions.

I take scores of assorted pills
To keep me steady as sin,
But always find myself flopping
This way or the other,
Without any wind at my back.
Face it; I’m a hot mess and a half—
Too frightfully cold to the touch
For anyone else’s unholy desire.
No wonder I can’t reach a soul.
Even the dead need not disturb
Their long sleep to answer me.



Bart Edelman’s poetry collections include Crossing the Hackensack (Prometheus Press), Under Damaris’ Dress (Lightning Publications), The Alphabet of Love (Red Hen Press), The Gentle Man (Red Hen Press), The Last Mojito (Red Hen Press), The Geographer’s Wife (Red Hen Press), and Whistling to Trick the Wind (Meadowlark Press). He has taught at Glendale College, where he edited Eclipse, a literary journal, and, most recently, in the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. His work has been widely anthologized. He lives in Pasadena, California.