It was Bob Dylan who told his
Ma that ‘He not busy being
born is busy dying’. Are you?
Sometimes I know I am dying-
tender tendrils of sunshine struggle,
clutching at my face past the
flimsy plastic blinds as I lie
inert on my death-couch, watching
cartoons in the tepid twilight.
I feel myself leaking into
deflated nothingness like an
old birthday balloon- and it hurts.
There’s a street-game I often play:
‘Dying…dying, born, dying’.
It’s like watching an endless grey
parade of ants crawling on the road,
and deciding which ones to squash.
Then there are the times I wonder
‘Who will be the last person to
see me alive?’ My money’s on
the guys from poker the night before.
Imagine being a bare toilet roll,
stripped of your tissues by the world
to wipe away Her plastic filth.
Shivering, naked on a steel rod,
you’d have to wonder what it would
have been like to have escaped the
sawmill. To be alive, a pine stem
born with each dawning day, instead
of a cardboard cylinder about
to be flushed into oblivion.