When I was a very young child & I heard the moog trills of the In Search Of theme music, I would run into my room & hide under my covers.  The grainy black & white images of the intro. sequence alone frightened me: a grainy row of rapa nui, a ruined Scottish castle, a crystal skull, but I still would listen from that vantage & catch fragments of Leonard Nimoy’s earnest narration & those images, that voice, never left.  
 
When I was a young child & finally could bring myself to watch the show, I would have nightmares of being chased by UFOs & lifted into the sky, until I grew up & then I would have dreams of being followed by UFOs & lifted up into the sky: home at last.  What I once feared became a trusted friend, Nimoy’s voice a source of comfort & wonder. It’s funny because most people know that voice as the pathologically logical Mr. Spock, but I knew it most intimately as Leonard himself, or rather the self he farmed out to Rodenberry’s seminal paranormal documentary show.  My Leonard Nimoy had a mustache & a lilac ascot. 
 
Andy Warhol, another alien, another hero or mine, said that images are worth repeating, or at least that’s what Lou Reed & John Cale said he said, & when Leonard died in 2015 I began the project of watching every single episode of In Search Of & mining them for phrases, images & impressions, much like I did in my childhood bedroom.  The show is far greater than the sum of its parts: —the sublime soundtrack—Nimoy’s exquisite outfits—actual academics who, in the 1970s, believed we might actually be able to talk to plants.  The poems are Pop Art, drawing from the well of our popular obsessions.  
 
Over the course of the turbulent years following the 2016 election, the birth of my daughter in 2017 & beyond, the In Search Of project once again became my way of hiding under the covers & now that it’s done I still miss the practice & the man himself.  The character of Leonard began to emerge from the static of the poems, a messianic everyman, a font of arcane knowledge, gaunt & handsome & otherworldly in his burgundy turtleneck & houndstooth blazer, gazing out at the vastness of the Himalayas in search of the Yeti, combing the Sahara desert for King Solomon’s mines, or trying to teach an erstwhile circle of toddlers ESP.  

In Search of Life After Death

Code blue miniskirts.

Leonard, what is it like

on the other side? 

Challenging the definitions,

watching a man die

on the television.  What is 

a useful life?  Leonard 

abandons the turtleneck, 

unfurls a collar testing the line

between life & death. 

Floating over the red bug, 

the blue pool, the green field:

peace, tranquility & low-end

warbling.  Tell the nurse 

you’re not there.  Start your heart

again, without speaking. 

Put on your mask.  

Leave your body.  Do not return

to the hospital.  Become involved

with the canopy of leaves.

Cut open wide awake, make a board

of mind thought.  

You cannot see the wound.


In Search of Reincarnation

A girl living now. 

The father of the assembly line

in another body.  

One who suffers

is very, very heavy. 

More or less picking 

Scandinavia. 

Normative, safe 

& reliable,

an elaborate questionnaire.

Bob hears the syllables. 

Leonard’s huge red tie

spilling over into the present

in the graveyard.

Going a million miles an hour

as a girl named Maria. 

So many working-class lives

cannot be imaginary.

A number of histories 

in Connecticut.  

What is your favorite 

teacher’s name?  You are

minus twenty.  A crisis

in a distant land, a cinematic 

revolution.  The harpsichords

of 1613 are listening, moving 

on a ribbon toward

rippling mustaches, 

a comforting feeling. 

Someone must be minding 

the store.


In Search of Past Lives

Leonard has an unexplainable

tingling in a military habit

up until the Middle Ages. 

A person keeps coming back 

& coming back & coming back 

to emotional traumas. 

All you’ve got to do is blame your parents. 

A series of relationships with sadness.

The presence of a stranger outside

of this lifetime.  The key moment 

of early afternoon, walking down a 

pathway, hands around my throat. 

I had no belief at all.  One heartbeat,

two dolls.  There is the school 

that lies below.  Sometimes I feel 

like an unshakeable theory, fragmented

images.  

A gold phoenix listens very hard 

to the market square. 

She searches her mind for grey 

stone.  The first impression

used only by royalty.  I could be 

laying down in the very same 

oratory.  

Even in the basket, you’ve got 

a romantic notion of the ground.

A sitar continues on beyond question.


In Search of Life after Life

One particular morning,

I was dead.  

A gigantic brightness;

I knew I was missing. 

Leonard folds his suede 

hands.  The definition 

is obvious, a lack. 

Cooling the rat 

in attempt

to find the point. 

A body will suffer

& simply be written off.

The first question is

totally paralyzed. 

She began drifting

toward a computer 

printout.  What is 

to come is an exquisite

fear. 


In Search of Life Before Birth

The unborn has travelled 

Drinking & smoking are a normal part of life 

The principle of sound waves

What part of the house are you in? 

Everything seems dark

The economy of the mind 

We know the dimension of feeling 

Leonard is extremely sensitive & volatile 

A sensing, feeling & aware human being 

A fetal flute


Mark Lamoureux lives in New Haven, CT. His work has been published in print and online in ElderlyDenver Quarterly,JacketFourteen Hills and many others.  He is the author of 5 full-length collections of poems: Horologion (Poet Republik, Ltd., 2020) It’ll Never Be Over For Me (Black Radish Books, 2016), 29 Cheeseburgers + 39 Years (Pressed Wafer, 2013), Spectre (Black Radish Books, 2010) and Astrometry Organon (BlazeVOX Books, 2008). 

One thought on “ Poetry by Mark Lamoureux ”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s