close the lid
 

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)