Jessica Williams, jazz pianist, composer


Currents + | -

More poetry here

Before you conjure up The Boneman

Before, after the usual and necessary
misery and heartbreak, you
make big plans with The Boneman,
think of what, of who might
come for you and where he might
spirit you off to. He’s good
with sneaking in unannounced,
but if you holler for him,
he will make haste.

There’s plenty slithering evil
with plenty of open mouths
just waiting to be fed
a plate of sacred human meat.
Don’t just assume the line
you cross is connected to a door
to someplace better,
someplace else.
Grass is only greener in books.

Better not to assume anything
if you throw in with The Boneman.
He’s got tricks up his tricks and
all those milling mouths to feed.
He cares about nothing.
He cares nothing for you.
He really hates you
just for being cowardly enough
to call him up.

Disease starts in our minds.
We get along fine and then one day
we feel our world caving in on us—
could be anything sets it off.
But it’s real as trees and rocks,
and a million times more deadly
if you think of the 'easy way out'.
You conjure him up and he will
teach you about easy.

There’s death all around now
and The Boneman is celebrating his
slaughter and carnage. And death?
He didn’t invent it but he sure
is good at it, a pro.
If you let fall his way, be prepared
to pay for your fall in coins
of pain, searing, intractable pain.
He knows about fear too.





new window



to top of page