Ransacking The Archive: Half-Hearted Suicide Note

Odilean kindly asked for a sample of my poetry in lieu of Princess Caroline’s lost poem. Here is one from the same period. It was published in 1977 in a Paris-based little magazine called The Atlantic Review (not to be confused with the prestigious monthly of the same name) whose editors had some loose affiliation with the Left Bank book store, Shakespeare & Co. That probably meant they crashed there when there was nowhere else to sleep.

Half-hearted Suicide Note to Editors Friends Enemies and Distant Lovers

my mail box has been empty for a week
gaping like a baby vulture’s mouth bad gums
bad breath miserable but finally this morning
I got my 1040A form the IRS remembered me
and the bank sent 200 personalized blank checks
with delicate cumulus clouds rainbows sad foggy
sunsets printed in the background – serenity
one of six personalized check styles you could choose
this particular style helps you feel calm as you spend
all that imaginary money and I felt so calm
I ate check #151 just in case
someone at the bank dipped it in
high-powered homemade blotter acid
now I’m just waiting to get off
waiting like a mail box waiting like a mouth
so write if you hate the poems
write if you find God work or
a meaningful relationship
but you better do it fast
once those mad giggling rushes begin
I’ll eat the tax form too
no possibility is too remote

This entry was posted in 1970s, memoir, poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.