Excerpt from "Gutted"
I would not mind getting the cancer
that Ali MacGraw gets in Love Story,
the cancer where as you lay dying,
you become more beautiful and more moisturized.
The classic death would be Garbo’s Camille,
but all that coughing and flopping around on the bed
is just so undignified. I realize she had consumption,
but at least Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge
still managed to karaoke with her consumption.
I certainly wouldn’t want the cancer
Debra Winger gets in Terms of Endearment.
“Come to Laugh, Come to Cry, Come to Care, Come to Terms.”
Oh, just go away already.
The death I would most like
is Bette Midler’s in The Rose.
Where, up on stage in front of a packed house,
I’ll tell the story of the first time I heard
the blues, and as the story winds down,
my speech all slurry and raised to an odd minor chord,
I’ll wonder, Why is it so dark? Who turned off all the lights? Where has
Then I will collapse and die.
My one request for my funeral
is that at no point should “I Believe I Can Fly”
be sung, played, hummed, mumbled, muttered,
mentioned or thought of.
This is how poltergeist activity gets started.
But I know, I know my death
will not kill me.
Rather it is the death of others