Saturday, June 11, 2005

Eulogy to the Dead

When he was only 27, my friend Denny killed himself with an overdose of sleeping pills. He was slightly manic-depressive and had talked about it off and on for the four years I had known him, but never made an attempt. This time he made the final decision. Always a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, he typed out his note, took off his clothes, swallowed the pills and positioned himself much like Marilyn was found. The shock when a friend does this is overwelming. The question arises, 'why didn't he call'? The answer is so very simple. He didn't want to wake up with his stomach being pumped. I'm not sure we ever really get over losing a friend this way. Well, in any way, to be honest. By his or own hand, no, not expected. Denny, the nights come when I still wish I could've saved you.

Coyly tucked beneath a virginal
sheet: electroshock therapy on wheels.
Comes right to you.
Pizza delivery techno in
the mental death ward.

Other candles zapped, one by one
it's my go round at the party.

Forgotten memories smother the room,
then burst through a shuttered window.
A woman kneels on the walkway weeping.
She sees an ashen man on an graveyard bed,
leftover pills, stardust,around him,
that note bequeathing me
his Marilyn books still curled
in the crotch of his battered Royal.

Pris Campbell


Geoff said...

Pris, I've done a considered appraisal of this work elsewhere, as you know. Just wanted to say that, despite all your current and ongoing problems, you seem to be on a roll these days. I love this mysterious, scintillating, annoyingly-obscure, funny-sad poem. More! More! G.

Pris said...

Hi G
I made a couple of word changes and one line break change since you read this, but no essence changed. Thanks for your comments and encouragement.