The Portrait of Dr. Cenotaph


The soul’s departure from the body is prearranged; a token of gratitude
for hosting the rabble, ruse and giving toasts to the crass, amused
The rotary bladder screws were supposed to be fastened, tuned
to an engine-metal cast in a steel-cased projection
Bless these rental caps from the free-baser dentist
Meet the portrait of Dr. Cenotaph, and his real grave expression
Heel raising tension – if you feel shaken, lessen
the locomotion of death: the wheels made the flesh grim
An evening with Voltaire, the more absinthe, the easier I fared
The ‘stand up for yourself’ concerto – my tailbone beat me to the stairs
and shuffled all the way to a mausoleum in need of serious repairs
Don’t be needlessly embarrassed, since an outstretched psalm
can go out on a grotesque limb & reach toward the cloud drenched fog
Anima mundi masks contrast with the greenest meadows
mending the heartstrings of Dali clocks and bleeding cellos
The physical’s an instrument – the stimulus is the will to question
Bombastic plague lands turned to monastic playgrounds; acrylic dust bins
Adults would rather avoid the smiling cadaver while the children bump him
but actually being closer to the essence, does he feel what love is?
Villains rush in with antidotes and thrills of sustenance
A pianist’s nimble fingers weren’t built to hunt with
Kidney transplant costlier than the final bill for Sputnik
As a result, every astronaut’s a dead man who’s feeling gutless
Sketch up the Kierkegaard flight manuals, set aside deposit slips
Genocide is bottomless, exorcise what knowledge is
Chills up your proverbial spine from the Seven Tribes of Novelists
Tuskegee airmen took a wrench to my sarcophagus
and pulled out a number of diseases that petrified biologists
I identified my targets as viceroy relics, slain or shot
Briefcase in ghastly hand, I took a one way train ride to psychedelic Shangri La
and snail-mailed Zyklons to every trite Tibetan banker bloc
The soul can’t take leave from the body when the destination’s uncertain
Life’s a science project – a teenage assimilation of versions of events
A falsely estimated assertion that may differ in each country
– it’s no wonder the skeleton of our generation speaks bluntly



Erik Moshe is an Airforce veteran and college student who is currently working on his second poetry collection called “Vulgar Fables”. Find more of his work at

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