I’ve been working on a review of Janaka’s book for a couple months. My mother died a few weeks into it (the review, not the book), which is highly appropriate both for the book’s themes and for my mother’s sense of humor. Because I’m the sensitive sort, however, and still working on non-attachment, Mom’s loss sorta knocked me out for a while. Then, mercifully, it also set me on a new track for the review. Which has since become an essay, of course, about a bunch of things. And as with everything else I write, I have no idea if I’ll ever 1) finish it or 2) publish it — so, in the meantime: here’s a recommendation to buy the book, and a poem from the collection, below.
THERE IS NO I IN FUNERAL The coffin a palindrome Frail tub of water you could reach into Make a fist and drain The starlight in my blood There is no I in funeral I solitary glyph I a suture stretched across the page I the inevitable Blessing of death In death I blossom Send bouquets Celebrate death like you would life Buy yourself new shoes Go out to dinner take a walk Everyone has their own ways of keeping company In the end there is no end just the first day Of the rest of your life A flock of waxwings in the rowan tree is Evidence of a successful crossing According to tradition it is best to return in the form of a bird