On Waiting for Houdini’s Ghost

November 7, 2019

Writing this poem constituted my annual “Houdini Séance” for 2019. (Houdini died on October 31, 1926.) It is written in my own style, which I call Improvisational Rhyming.


I wait,
not
for Houdini to haunt,
but
     for the rest
     of us
to meet
     in pretense
     at some séance
table.
     In life
     he slipped off
     handcuffs,
was able
     to doff
straightjacket & chain.
But when
the last curtain
     fell, there was no escape
          to an afterlife,
no certain
     path
          save to nothingness,
     to death.
As for me, I bide
my time
     following my own myth,
sit at times at the table
& scribble—
not messages, but the inevitable
     revealing math.

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