Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Memento mori

(based on suggestions from @quadelle, @seanmelliott, @GretasTardis, @pinknantucket and @timsterne)

He never tolerated

anything less than full Windsor

skinny bloody tie knots not an option.

Creating a funeral is almost impossible

an angry bearskin in a parcel.

Speed to Hungry Jacks; drunken

methods not recommended by professionals.

Past tense, present sense. I lift

my fork in slow-mo, smooth as

the Hoff on fictional beaches.

Lifejackets mandatory.

Don’t like the need, necessarily

but thrilled in the moment of death;

in real life through a common carcass.

I cannot connect his hanging jaw

with his past speech.

Only place it among details;

fat ties and mispronunciations

His white open mouth

sucks the breath from the room.


Today’s poem is based on suggestions from five peeps:

  • @quadelle: If you're not already inundated with responses, how about: a life changing moment.
  • @seanmelliott: Methods of tying ties (Windsor, half windsor, etc.)
  • @GretasTARDIS: Bears! Forks! David Hasselhoff!
  • @pinknantucket: What about "the need for speed"? Not that we like the need for speed, necessarily.
  • @timsterne: Hungry Jacks, drunkenness, connecting with people you meet irl for the first time...

My grandfather died a few years ago, and he was the first newly-dead person I had ever seen. I’d seen open casket funerals before, but not fresh, unarranged death. It is not strange at all (and also very strange) to drink hospital tea in a room with all your family and a dead person. Heimlich/unheimlich. And the only thing I could think about was how I was supposed to post all these items I’d sold to people on eBay, and how was I going to do it if I had to stay in Warrnambool for the funeral? Death makes me panic about the details, because if I think about anything bigger than Australia Post in that moment, I might implode. And he did always hate skinny tie knots.

'Memento mori' translates from latin roughly as 'remember the death'.


nixwilliams said...

this is just wow.

Anna said...

<3 thankyou.

Quadelle said...

Powerful. Well done.

Plus, I am amazed that you're sustaining this pace.

Anna said...

Thanks. I'm a bit amazed too. Must be enjoying myself :)