Museum of Impending Death
Trying to focus on what feels meaningful to me in this moment.
Trying not to let my own thoughts reside inside nothing but impending death.
Trying not to let my own thoughts reside inside this giant nihilistic
ever expanding sky filled with rising numbers of dead stars.
Brimming with stark contrasts, alternating currents
between freaked out, productive, freaked out,
creative, wondering if I’m going to die from this.
If I’m going to melt down inside this ongoing vortex.
Thousands of broken wings get sucked into numbers,
spiral down, crack into the ground, vanish.
Thunder in the sky sounds like gurgling blood,
getting closer until I shake and cover my ears.
Trying to place my own impending death inside another poem
filled with words instead of numbers. Cerulean blue instead of red.
Poetry is not a party favor,
but even if it was,
it wouldn’t be allowed
to get very close to the table
or the cake.
Other than inside a nightmare of a rusty game of musical chairs
in which we are stumbling, hobbling, falling down,
while trying to walk in circles,
competing for the chairs
that keep disappearing.
At the end of this game, there are two people left.
The chairs turn into hospital beds.
One person lies down
on the one remaining bed
and is named the winner.
The other person crawls around the floor
holding onto a suspicious cake.
Nobody is left in the audience.
Poetry is not a party favor,
but it might be a parting gift
stuck inside the cake
or hiding underneath your bed
just waiting for you to touch it
and then guess what happens next?
“I was dreamin’ when I wrote this, so sue me if I go too fast
But life is just a party and parties weren’t meant to last”
(lyrics from the song 1999 by Prince)
My life lasted more than 20 years longer than that song,
but now there is no space for parties
and I feel oddly embarrassed for liking the song
and for missing my favorite restaurants.
I mean, I’m lucky to be alive, right?
Hospital rooms are filling up fast.
Funeral homes are a source of impending contamination
for those who aren’t dead yet.
Song lyrics suddenly seem as careless
as a casual slaughter.
Meat spreads disease, another body part chopped off
and flung into the cremation bin.
Dolls with the plague are sealed tight inside bottles.
Zombies ride the carousels
with their dying arms rupturing
or rapture-ing, depending
on their angle.
Angels are possessed,
can’t stop passing
goblets of blood
until they collapse under the rafters
and don’t know who to believe in.
This one wants to party until she dies.
This one wants to try her best to protect
everyone except for herself. She continually drinks
more than she eats because the slaughtered meat might be infected.
Juliet Cook is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.
Painting by Golnaz Hosseini, Courtesy of the Artist