Lemurs and Such, Paul Jones

Philip Kobylarz, The Golden Eternity, Photograph


Lemurs and Such

In memoriam WSB


Bill was nodding out.
At eighty, you expect as much.
But he had just shot up.
The band still on his arm.

We’d be going out
to see all the lemurs and such
whenever Bill woke up
unless there was a storm.

Bill could be surly.
There’s no telling what he might say
or who he’d call “ass” or “slut.”
But lemurs made Bill glad.

Best to go early
on a fall Carolina day;
by noon, lemurs make for what
little remains of shade.

They dance to crunch dead
leaves. Pile up leaves. One burrows in
to leap out in happy
spins. “They are our better

Ghosts,” or so Bill said.
“No longer spoiled like the living—
gleeful never sappy—
Death without death’s pallor.”

Bill watched the lemurs
as they fed:
“Ghosts. Not quite human.
Not quite dead.”

Paul Jones


Review by Jared Pearce

I don’t know—makes me think of a grown up The Pig Man—and I liked that novel, mind you, I just like Jones’s poem much more: tight, fun sounds, snappy characters, and something to say.


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