2 Poems, by Benjamin Goluboff

Googling the Dead

It seems at first like a way of keeping them,
of giving them a place in the here and now
you may pretend not to know they have lost.
They can be in this way more quick than dead,
their results robust, their vitals vital still.
And you may fool yourself in this way,
until their footprint contracts, sites shut down
or update, the algorithm moves on,
and your dead retreat once more,
a little further away

Truc Lam Temple Closed and Tagged

The Truc Lam Buddhist Temple at Wilson and Ashland
stands empty now, having been sold for condos.

It is needless to think what shadows fall
where the people once gathered,

needless to think of what has fled
the empty sanctuary.

Do not consider how taggers have marked
the plywood that seals the empty windows.

For this is consistent with the teaching:
the tags and the taggers are empty.

Their colors and characters empty:
NUKEY is empty; K-9 is empty; CORNBREAD is empty.

Needless to think.

Benjamin Goluboff is the author of Ho Chi Minh: A Speculative Life in Verse (Urban Farmhouse Press). Another book of speculative biographical poetry, Lives and Times, will appear from Alternating Current Press later this year. Goluboff teaches at Lake Forest College.

Some of his work can be read at: