death drops all pretense

Death Drops All Pretense

Trying to get the juices flowing, I lean toward the tawdry and the irreverent, but Death keeps getting in my face and saying, “Boo!” Then she bends over laughing, as if life’s a big joke.

Sometimes Death appears as a woman, sometimes a man, a practical joker when a woman, hard as iron and middle-aged when a man, and if a man Death doesn’t say Boo, he just steps out in front of me and stares.

Death is transforming into something with teeth and blood.



Ten years of aneurysm surgeries and strokes and the usual assortment of back pain, torn ligaments and heartache, and the snap has gone out of my writing. Ten years of people I love dropping like equatorial flies from lung cancer and Parkinson’s, and I lay my pen down and slip into dream.

The world bolts away from me in a technological frenzy, and a foreign vocabulary of nuts and bolts falls from a grey sky like rain.

“How do you like Mr. Death now, my blue-eyed boy?” Death whispers, dropping all pretense and mangling a cummings poem.

I’m without an answer.

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