Archive for the ‘Epitaphs’ Category

Kenan Connor

Kenan ConnorThey always said I
was slow. And they said that
Doctor Centrone was
my real father, because
I looked like him, but
he said he wasn’t. And
even though I was
slow, people were nice to
me and gave me things
to do to help out. I
was good at taking
care of their animals,
so I walked a lot
of dogs and fed a lot
of cats and fish, and
one time I even got
to feed a turtle.
But nobody believed
me that I could hear
what the animals were
saying, and could talk
back to them, and that’s why
I was so good at
taking care of them. But
it was true. It took
me a while, but I learned
to stop saying it,
because folks would get that
look in their eyes that
meant they were gonna get
serious. When I
got sick, I could talk to
lots of other things,
like flowers and grass and
soil. And then I
saw folks who had died when
I was small, and they
told me to not be scared.
So I wasn’t. I
came here and talked to the
grass and the trees and
the dirt to tell them I’d
be there soon, and they
were happy to see me.

Sylvester Rowan

Sylvester RowanGod must be dead. Because it is said
that we are made in
his image. And we die. And our deaths
are the things that give
our lives purpose. That is what they say.
So, if it’s true, it
stands to reason that God, creator
of all, to fill his
Creation with meaning, would have to
perish, would have to
leave it behind. If not, then what does
any of it mean?
God must be dead. If not, then he’s a
fraud and a coward.

Beryl Clovis

Beryl ClovisThey’ll try to beat it
out of you. Through logic,
and ridicule, and
if necessary, fists.

But never forget
that you are right, and
this world is more than
what your eyes see. Even
the churches want to
pin you down, by giving
God a backstory.
God is a mystery
and it will never
be solved. Hallelujah.

Donavon Bode

Donavon BodeI belonged to no party.
Each side had their
points. Each time the contest came
due, I wavered
and waffled and tried to make
the most right choice.
They all made sense at times. They
all were crazy
too. I always had trouble.
And more than once,
I went in the voting booth
and closed my eyes.

Dirk True

Dirk TrueAs a student,
I was good at
geometry.
It was ordered,
had rules, made sense.
People are non-
Euclidean,
and axioms
did not hold. So
I abandoned
the path they all
thought I belonged
on and struck out
on my own. A
disappointment
to many, but
leaving that world
was worth it. I
proved, if only
to myself, the
shortest distance
between two points
is never a
straight, direct line.

Vita Diego

Vita DiegoI got bored of
the academy
and their endless
circle-jerks. I quit
and became an
acupuncturist.
All my former
friends were aghast at
my fall into
new-age quackery.

But they could not
understand what I
saw – a system
of metaphor that
captured our whole
cosmos, from atom
to universe.
And a metaphor
that was good for
more than monographs,
conferences, or
drunken, flirtatious
arguments. A
metaphor that healed.
That touched. Garden
overwhelms machine.

Eli Blanchard

Eli BlanchardCarson is
always going on and on about
how peaceful
Spoon River was; how good and simple.
But he was
rarely around to see how mean life
here could be.
If I could have traded places with
him, I would
never have come back. Now I’m stuck here,
listening
to him forever. Reminding me
I never
did leave this place. And now never can.

Jared Carson

Jared CarsonThis world is what you
make of it. I made one
full of beauty and
joy, and I travelled far
and wide to see as
much as I could. But I
always loved coming
home to Spoon River, its
peace and good nature.
And even though I saw
far-flung cities and
the wonders of this vast
planet, I’m content
my final peace is here.

Dwayne Hunt

Dwayne HuntI started with Foucault,
and went headlong
into Derrida and
de Saussure. Then
Baudrillard, Lacan and
Zizek, and their
countless vassals. Shredding
the map, burning
the territory. I
built and tore down
grammars and dreamed that I
could add a last
piece that would bring it all
together; to
make the world change the way
it saw itself.
Down the rabbit hole
deep and deeper.

But everything crumbled
when I faced a
problem that no grammar
was equipped for.
When Vita Diego
challenged me to
use language to capture
her orgasm.
I tried and failed and tried
and failed and tried.

After, I came back to
the surface and
breathed the cool air for the
first time in years.

Paulie “Perch” Rucker

Paulie “Perch” RuckerWe come from the ocean,
and we build shoals in
the wide, waterless world.
Deegan, the Orca, with
his wake of pilot
fish feeding off of him.
And Robin Parker, a
Barracuda of
cunning temperament, locked
in combat with gallant Swordfish
Kyle Kerns, always
brandishing his weapon
before him. Can you see
Gio Moss the Crab,
scuttling away from
his latest meal, looking
for another shell
to climb into? Efa,
a sad-eyed Catfish who
can see all the muck
and misery that skim
the bottom? Tysha, an
Amazon Molly,
relying only on
herself. And Mellor the
comedian, a
Grouper with a giant
mouth he never could close.
The porpoise Moreland,
too playful for his own
good, caught in the stinging
nettles of Donald
Howard, the Jellyfish.
And you. Are you a shark
or a mere prawn?
A giant squid or just
plankton to be gobbled
up by the others?
But we all fear the great
Fisherman, who snags us
up in his nets and
carries us to our doom.

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