Farenheit Allen Cohen

For Allen Cohen by Chris Trian

Hey, Allen, is this the third memorial poetry reading?
Or is it the fourth?
This isn't my original poem,
But I'm not the original Christopher,
Just the former of my Shadow Self.
Now YOU'RE in Shadow:
you're dead.

But you seem so real to me,
Realer than my father.
Oh Allen, us and fathers.
Death is a father, too.
Is it death that makes us real?
You're so familiar,
Like that old baseball glove
That fit like my fist
Over the dick of my hand.
But hey, I never played baseball.
I was a boy. So I'm lying.
Is Death a lie? Is Life?

I've been to too many memorials.
With all this death,
There must have been life.
With all these poems
There must be poetry.
With all these memories
We must have been young.
We have the photos to prove it.
But don't photos lie?
The older I get
The more vivid life should be,
But it just gets blurry,
And mostly the memorials are real
Flashes of fireworks on an overcast day.
Fireworks painted into faces.
And only the dead have faces.
And only their poems have names.
There are boxes of dead
and boxes of poems.
Now the Fire Department
Is asking me to move
My boxes of the dead and their poems
Are the dead a fire hazard?
Out of my house; fire hazard !
Is poetry flammable? Is death?
Hey, Allen, watch the dead burn
As we the living Stand around helpless
With empty bucketsThere are fewer and fewer of us.
And we still don't know each other
But we can know the dead.
We know what the fire looks like.
The whole damned neighborhood
Is going down in flames.
See the burning firemen
Dance across the rooftops of death.

©Chris Trian, 7/14/04
Christopher Trian is a published illustrator, poet, and acclaimed
Allen Cohen Tributes and Memories