This is a set of poems which were originally intended to be the core of a projected book, THE DEATH OF BIRDS, the working plan for which was to record the progress, physical and psychological, of my own death.
However, unfortunately, I did not die, which rather spoilt the plan of the book.
Still, I did get some death poems out of it, and these I incorporated into my literary miscellany, THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD: A HUGH COOK READER.
Writing about death and dying gives you more options than you realize. For example, you can kick back and have a bit of fun with the death concept, as in the following poem:
THE HAPPY PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICHES
The happy peanut butter sandwiches
Get up in the morning and get eaten.
They don't expect it
But the munch teeth come and crunch them.
Good point about this:
Your tax liability
Drops steeply down to zero.
And Christmas cards?
Your last hard corners,
Your last little nuggety chunks of personal essence,
Get flossed away to limbo
And you're excused.
In the course of cleaning up my personal room, I continue to discover unexpected (forgotten) things. Such as a mini disk labeled "Nakatani Miki". And I think: Who the hell is Nakatani Miki?
But, bit by bit, playing this stuff, I remember ... yes, I have heard this before. A long time ago. In a different life, I think. Not this one.
I also came upon a few more poems, some completed and some in draft form, and I hope to post these, too, once I get round to it.
Meantime, I'm plugging ahead with the new edition of THE SHIFT, which should be out some time this year.