looking resplendent in flowing purple gown and monocle, they place me into my coffin gently, with the grace that i never achieved in life. my left arm appears to flicker at one point, but no one is truly sure whether it is just a trick of the sparse and cursive light. i bear a smirk, largely at myself for all the things i never quite got at - but everyone takes it as their own, their own special smirk, somehow an aggregation of my offhandedly snide attitude to them all along, somehow a perfect and loving symbol of my hate. i hit the boards and bounce slightly, suddenly elastic after all these brittle years - if only i could bounce right out of this decaying scene... but i lie back, just like old and all times, and soak into myself... what a laugh. old henry sump wanders by for a look-see - he snivels, he rubs his chin slowly before remembering to stop, he somehow purses lips whose natural state is pursed... he talks to me... "what are you doing?" he says. "thanks henry," i reply, "you corrosive old fuckwit - your rhetoric is as incisive as ever." i sigh in death, as i never did while living. just close the fucking lid. just wrap it up for gods sake. and then some flowers are thrown at me, striking my chest and stomach and falling in an elaborate pattern of disarray. why is this happening? i had always made my position on plant life, and for that matter animal life, perfectly clear. why am i now being covered for posterity in that which i detest? i suppose it is just the succulent irony of being fucked up your dead ass for failing to suck on enough asses while alive. can you please just close the lid?? can you please close the fucking lid, now? anyway, the parade went on, much in the manner of a regular procession of longings, each one looking for the nearest cliff from which to plunge, but none willing to concede their intention. one day your bodies will be scraped, or diluted, or washed away; one day your hideous faces will melt and your emptiness will be confirmed and the love that existed for you will dissipate into something huge and unshaped. meanwhile, will you close the lid now? oh, here it comes, here it comes - its lightless and lifeless, secure and utterly encapsulating, cold and, i am led to suspect, more resilient than i - my small rectangular space, full of almost nothing but me. it cracks shut suddenly, the normal shudder of permanence whistling through me; and then a snap, and an all-consuming wave of relief. my whole being, my thoughts and inventions that looked like thoughts, the few actions that i took, my memory of up to ten things and my surging, relentless, passionate pursuit of this one golden moment when everything, everything will be finished with, and disposed of, and locked away for good - all come magically to life. i live at last.
With permission - Cadmium Flute (1999)