Two Poems by Louis E. Bourgeois

Heidegger Playing with Children
(A Seaside Story)

Gather ‘round me boys and girls; see, this is not a fish. This is definitely not a fish and if you look above, you’ll see that there is no sky there, nor has there ever been a sky.

The only reality is ash. Jewish ash and stardust ash.

Ash is an image that keeps me up late into the night. Some nights, I never sleep a’ tall.

This ball, children, this ball is too much of itself. This ball is too much reality. Gravity is a sin against my philosophical efforts---

Do you understand, children?

I will dance with you, yes, we will dance and dance in the lovely meadow with the Charnel factory smoking in the distance, but, first, I must ask you, don’t you loath the color green? Don’t worry, one day you’ll understand the essence of this question better than I do.

Questions are the highest piety of thought...but, remember well, this is not a fish; this is most certainly not a fish and that Sun, if only I could crush it---

And put it into a glass tube, or into the very filaments of a telephone.

You need to understand that the reality of this world is only ash, Jewish ash and stardust ash.

Now, children, drop that ball and go home and read The Complete Works of Plato and come back tomorrow and tell me what you found there.



My father buried a fish in the deepest woods. The fish was still half alive. A gold filling lay in the carp’s red mouth where an infant sea turtle still swam. My father was a madman in the dust. A liquid fire began to inflame the radiant night. The moon is an unhappy sugar, melting in emerald smoke. No one can save us here, thought I. Please help the little ones, as I crush them underfoot. I kept thinking about the red carp’s mouth and how my father buried the carp without a prayer, and then I began to eat pork. My father kept burying the fish. He buried it fifteen times before he ate it. Oh, mystical one, the birds are in a rage and the does are beginning to growl. I’ll take my father, wash him, then eat him, like he did the fish, then the trees will finally eat me and I’ll finally have an orgasm. Oh mystical one, the moon is spent and the sheep are dead under starlight.

Louis E. Bourgeois