Friday, March 11, 2011


Kurt put a shotgun in his
beautiful mouth: A century
before, Van Gogh's crows
scattered south when

they heard the blast from
a gun pointed at his own
unhappy heart. People put
sunflowers on his pauper's

grave. Hemingway and Brautigan
also used a gun. To save
themselves from writer's block—
ending their last sentence with

a bullet: a hole in the page
of life. But Sylvia chose to
kneel before her tiny gas oven:
one last prayer after all the rage

was written out of her. And Ariel
made her name. While Anne chose to
die in her garage. As she sat
in her car, with the engine

running. Wearing her mother's coat:
something to bring her luck, as she
gambled with Mr. Death. Wanting to
die. Hoping he would win.

They did not rage against the dying
of the light. But welcomed darkness
like an old friend. So if Dylan
Thomas was right—does that make them

insane or dumb? Or too weary to fight?
Sick of the world's beautiful lie.
Afraid of dawn with its terrible light:
Too battered and numb. No tears left to cry.

Poem © 2009 by Dylan Mitchell

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