"The Other Side" Contest Winners / March 2015 (Issue 27)

At My Grandfather's Funeral

by Brian Ng

His survivors file in like émigrés, supply
the Orphic economy with new attention.

Then urged, like a fretted string,
by my grandma's sob to rise and sing,

His bloodline uncoils
upon his body beneath the door

– cracked coyly ajar, the embalmed head
so shrunken I must have imagined it –

To avow his absence with fire,
snug fire, a heap of fire, roasting

Like comedy, literal effigies to force
divine compromise. Filial kitsch.

His sheen devoured a street
I knew, him I knew not.
Brian Ng This is a Finalist of Cha's "The Other Side" Poetry Contest. Brian Ng on "At My Grandfather's Funeral": The boy, a cruel and invested voice, imagines that admitting the contrivance of the elegy genre would assert his intelligence, or deliver him from the mistakes he could make. Life doesn't work that way. [Read Vinita Agrawal's commentary on "At My Grandfather's Funeral"] [Back to "The Other Side"]
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