Description: An obituary is an attempt to deify a common life, soothe the living, fete the dead. Some lives are best forgotten, those that never felt the spark of their potential. This belongs to them.
let us search, then
the magic pattern
of the soul's sudoku
as fingertips trace
in ancient prophecies
he was a failure
his entire life
having never accomplished
an eternal goal, nor sated
any sacred dream
he believed obituary babbling
to be inane bullsh*t
sold to the quivering mass
of grief-stricken unfortunates
in the midst of loss and shock
propping false memories
to a fallen god (although his family
thought it best to tell tender lies
of wondrous accomplishment
with rigor and a nervous smile)
for the purpose of making
earthly goods ascend
to heaven on sinister wings
for the simple ditch
he prefered in place of a well
kept grave, he asked these few
lines be scrawled in slate
on the broken pavement
he called home-
I was recently strolling through the cemetery at Virginia City, NV and this reminded me of that moment. Many of those old headstones only had names. No DOB or DOD. Just a name. I kinda figured they might have been just people either new to town or just passing through. And I wondered what their obituary would have been in the local paper back in the day. "Joe Smith...Got lost on his way to Reno. Died here from gang green. We had to put him somewhere. He seemed like a nice fellow but we only knew him for two days. It would have been nice if he made it to Reno instead of dying here. They have a bigger budget and more land than we do."
"Well Bill I wont speak as many words as others have but will say your thoughts are true. Obituaries are a subject few would choose to examine and fewer would critique. You have succeeded by rolling over a rock and exposing the wiggly thing beneath. Excellent write----Mugs---
Another, unnecessary censored word but apart from that a beautiful and thoughtful poem. How many of us do acheive that much - is it not enought to have inspired the love of his family but in giving high flowing eulogies do they deny him the simplicity he desired?
he asked these few lines be scrawled in slate on the broken pavement he called home-
"he was born he lived awhile he died amen"
That is another wonderful ending. love and peace nessie
let us search, then the magic pattern of the soul's sudoku as fingertips trace an unblemished shoreline in ancient prophecies of regret
he was a failure his entire life having never accomplished an eternal goal, nor sated any sacred dream
he believed obituary babbling to be inane bullsh*t sold to the quivering mass of grief-stricken unfortunates in the midst of loss and shock propping false memories to a fallen god (although his family thought it best to tell tender lies of wondrous accomplishment with rigor and a nervous smile) for the purpose of making earthly goods ascend to heaven on sinister wings
for the simple ditch he prefered in place of a well kept grave, he asked these few lines be scrawled in slate on the broken pavement he called home-
"he was born he lived awhile he died amen"
This reminds me so much of my dad's funeral! He died last August. In this poem you certainly have struck a chord with many.
What I see in the story of Myron Terle is a guy who followed the rules went along with all the other drones and the bosses and society, and underneath it all, they all know the cubicle, the steady paycheck, the house in the suburbs, etc, etc, doesn't really make anybody happy, but they all keep lying to each other anyway. That's the surface dream. The REAL dream and real living is the exotic travel, living dangerously, writing brilliant poetry, and they know that they are all failing miserably. They are getting any closer to that dream, so they keep each other down by propagating the fake dream, and they settle for things like company promotions and pay raises. The irony , though, is that this guy, Myron, knew that society's stated idea of success, and the drones' unspoken definition of success are BOTH lies. The sad thing is not MYRON. It's everybody else! The family thought they had to embellish his life to make themselves feel better, because they couldn't be responsible for his percieved failed life. And the drones, the other cubicle dwellers, secretly amongst themselves call him Poor [censored] and and hope they have the nerve to get out of the cubicle before it's too late. But Myron was smart. He was perfectly ok with the cubicle, but it coulda been a salesfloor, or a garage, or a classroom, or studio, or a space shuttle. He figured out that it didn't matter. You live awhile, and you die. Living is not what you could be doing, or what you should be doing, or what you wanna be doing. It's what you're doing. Drink up.
Here are my two favorite lines:
for the simple ditch he prefered in place of a well
Maybe this is nothing like what you had in mind, when you wrote it, but when you put it out there, it's not just yours anymore. Thanks for sharing!
well, what can i say? i think you've made your poetic point rather well here. it carries a tone of sarcasm... almost. but there's definitely a sense of irony in your tone.
i think it's sad when people don't live their lives like they dream of... at some point in their lives they must wonder "what the hell am i doing here? and what can i do to live life like i should and must?" i often think this a lot... that i never want to be an old woman by the wayside, forgotten, decrepit and alone, so to speak. no one ever wants to be a failure... but then, what is success? a pertinent question i feel. but i digress... like i always do. lol.
were you wanting a critique? because i can offer you none... i can only offer you my thoughts and how this piece of yours connects with me.
I've always wondered what people say at funerals for people who've had a shi ty life and weren't worth even the trouble of a funeral...well, I could tell you that based on the way they did my uncle's funeral...and let me tell you he was one messed up human being that hardly no one cared about...they all told lies to suffice his children's heart-broken souls. I really enjoyed this. I don't know why. Maybe because death is something that has boggled my mind for some time now. I like these lines the best "the purpose of making earthly goods ascend to heaven on sinister wings" Because that is exactly what they did at my uncle's funeral and honestly, I wanted to laugh. He tried to kill my aunt, tried to run her over, stole drugs at the pharmacy he worked at, I mean if you name it he had done it. Hence the reason he died of a heart attack asleep on the couch. Yeah. So sorry, didn't mean to drag on and on but this made me remember that time in my life. Well great piece anyway. Take care hun.
Do you know that this reminds me so eloquently of how poets have the stark ability to tame the vibrations of the soul. How we can design it's shape and vigor with the thoughts we send in lines. Don't mind me, I just write but I'm reminded of how little impact most humans have on other lives.
But we do..
and I have to commend you on how we color the history of someone favorably when they are gone. It reminds me to take a grain of salt with all those things written and discern the truth. But in my mind all of that work (seeing someone in a favorable light) needs to be done before they're gone. And yet doesn't that make sense of the grieving process.
You asked for thoughts and these things are a part of my life right now. I sometimes wonder how we are connected in spirit and thank you for sharing the thoughts you do in your work. Beautiful!
hmm... I feel that, on reading this, you are saying, "This man is a failure, and yet he is likeable/ a smart, good guy." because you're giving his perspective on the world like it's Deep and True, and calling his family kind of silly, for trying to make him into some sort of saint. But then, because he never wrote the Great American Novel, he's unworthy? Or something? Maybe what you're saying is that you can't sum up someone's life in actions, or if you do, they have to be the kind of impersonal ones (he lived, he died) that take away any story from the person, reduces them to science. I love your poem; it's an interesting question (what is worthwhile??) and it's well-articulated. Good job.