Death from laughter

On the twenty-fourth of March 1975,
Alex Mitchell, from King’s Lynn, England,
died laughing while watching the Kung Fu Kapers
episode of The Goodies, featuring

a kilt-clad Scotsman with his bagpipes
battling a master of the Lancastrian martial art
Eckythump, who was armed with a black pudding.
After 25 minutes of continuous laughter,

Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and died.
His widow later sent The Goodies a letter
thanking them for making Mitchell’s
final moments of life so pleasant.

(From Death from laughter, Wikipedia)

im giving it three

out of attempted empathy or niceness..
.. because: psuedo interlectual, tripe,
greek-mis-approproiating (indulgin
in theatre/drama/physchologism..
possibly that type of pagansim…
AKA (woody allen-esque) attempted
“oddyssaic-streamish-of-consciences blah-ism”

But i wont say “pyscho-bable” becasse IMO,
the psychologism of misery behind
the OVERT text line is actually vaild (imo)
but suspicious of pagan/ bending symobolgy?
Theres nothing new under the sun
take care anyway

(An Amazon review for Synecdoche New York)

America has fallen

There’s a burnt body in front of my office.
Then I’m playing Scrabble with friends.
There’s bomb smoke rising in front of the mall.
Then I’m at a concert. There’s a long line
for gas. Then I’m at a nightclub.

This is how it happens. Precisely
what you’re feeling now.
The numbing litany of bad news.
The ever rising outrages.
People suffering, dying,
and protesting all around you,
while you think about dinner.

I used to judge those herds of gazelle
when the lion eats one of them alive
and everyone keeps going.

I went to work, I went out, I dated.

We’d pop the trunk for a bomb check.
Turn off our lights for the air raids.
I know people who were beaten, arrested,
and went into exile. But that’s not
what my photostream looks like.

The pain doesn’t go away, it just becomes
a furniture of bones, in a thousand homes.
There’s no launch party for decay.

(From I lived through collapse. America is already there)

Bubbly Creek

One long arm of it is blind, and the filth
stays there forever and a day. It is
constantly in motion as if huge fish
were feeding in it, or great leviathans
disporting themselves in its depths. Bubbles
of carbonic gas will rise to the surface
and burst, and make rings two or three feet wide.

Here and there the grease and filth have caked solid,
and the creek looks like a bed of lava;
chickens walk about on it, feeding,
and many times an unwary stranger
has started to stroll across and vanished
temporarily. The packers used to leave
the creek that way, till every now and then
the surface would catch on fire and burn
furiously, and the fire department
would have to come and put it out.

Once,
an ingenious stranger came and started
to gather this filth in scows, to make lard;
then the packers took the cue, and got out
an injunction to stop him, and afterwards
gathered it themselves. The banks are plastered
thick with hairs, and this also the packers
gather and clean.

(From Bubbly Creek on Wikipedia)

Horseback to Palm Canyon

Dear mother dad sweetheart gang wife
hubby girls boys old kid

How are you? I am fine 
happy lonesome sad broke flying 
high enjoying the desert

Wish I had you a letter more ambition
someone to love me more sleep

Things are wonderful lovely exciting

I have seen the mountains the desert
lots of pretty girls 
lots of handsome men 
the desert sunset desert wildflowers 
the canyons

Doing lots of sightseeing loafing
sleeping hiking sun-bathing 
swimming golfing celebrating
playing tennis bicycle riding

I rode horseback to Palm Canyon
on the Skyline trail in the moonlight
on the desert on the Araby trail
to Andreas Canyon to Seven Palms

I’m staying at the
I danced at
I dined at

Will be seeing you away a little longer
thinking of you writing you again
hitting the hay stepping out

Yours ‘till the cows come home 
with love forever sincerely

Name

(The Lazy Person’s Correspondence Card from Palm Springs)

Some women

They take off their clothes
and smear honey all over their naked body.

They roll themselves
back and forth
over wheat
on a sheet
spread on the ground.

They carefully collect all the grains sticking to their moist body
put them in a mill,
turn the mill
in the opposite direction of the sun
grind the wheat
into flour
and bake bread from it.

They serve it to their husbands to eat
who then grow weak
and die.

Do penance for forty days on bread and water.

(From The Joy of Confessing: “Women’s Vices” and Burchard’s Decretum of 1003)

How you die

I strip in the doorway when I get home,
stand in the shower too tired to think or cry.
I sing Happy Birthday twice over every
part of my body. At work I can’t eat,
at night I can’t sleep. The dreams I have now
have only three themes: gasping for breath,
wiping things down, somehow, by accident,
being touched by somebody. Did you ever wake
in those last moments, or in your sedation
did you ever dream? I still wake some days
with a small beat like a held breath before
the truth of this new world hits me. Be safe
say the families I call on the phone.
Your name is a poem I’m required to keep
to myself.

This is the day you start to turn.
What we suck up from your lungs turns frothy pink
and then the frank red of blood. There are tests
but no one willing to run them — you are too sick
and you have never cleared the virus. No one
would ever want to be what you are now:
a hazard, a threat, a frightening object
on the edge of death. We try not to touch you.

Stronger together say the screen savers
on every screen in the hospital, the banners
on the sides of the shuttle bus. What I’ll see
is just how much this isn’t true, how so many
of our sickest patients are Black or Brown like you.
I will see a forty-six-year-old Black man,
infected with SARS-CoV-2, die instead
from having a police officer kneel on his neck.
I will see those who protest police brutality,
though masked and mostly peaceful, tear-gassed
and shot with rubber bullets. I will see
your death multiplied by ten thousand,
by a hundred thousand, all those bodies,
mothers and fathers, daughters and sons.

With my arms at my sides, I watch through the glass.
I have never mattered less in my entire life.
And this is how you die, near no one who
ever loved you, a spectacle of futility
and fear. Time is called, and someone calls your
husband, and it isn’t me. I am not the one
who hears him cry out in grief.

(From The New Stability)