Invitation to a Ghost

My Vampire

©Nicole Blaisdell Ivey

Invitation to a Ghost

for Henri Coulette(1927-1988)

I ask you to come back now as you were in youth,

Confident, eager, and the silver brushed from your temples,

Let it be as though a man could go backwards through death,

Erasing the years that did not much count,

Or that added up perhaps to no more than a single brilliant

forenoon.

Sit with us. Let it be as it was in those days

When alcohol brought our tongues the first sweet foretaste of

oblivion.

And what should we speak of but verse? For who would speak of

such things now but among friends?

(A bad line, an atrocious line, could make you wince: we have all

seen it.)

I see you again turn toward the cold and battering sea.

Gull shadows darken the skylight; a wind keens among the chimney

pots;

Your hand trembles a little.

What year was that?

Correct me if I remember it badly,

But was there not a dream, sweet but also terrible,

In which Eurydice, strangely, preceded you?

And you followed, knowing exactly what to expect, and of course

she did turn.

Come back now and help me with these verses.

Whisper to me some beautiful secret that you remember from life.

Donald Justice

*Read by Raymond Waddington at Gus Blaisdell’s memorial celebration Feb 2005