Dying Requests

Before I die
Light these Roman candles
Like a bartender pours 3 double-shots in a row
Across glass molds formed from ounces blown

Without break to flow phelgmatic
In jest congestion; the hypocritically kind—
Exiled into passive-aggression
Too young for hardened arteries
Too old repeats inside my mind 

Biochemical cured concrete
Spun within human drums
Arrhythmic beatings
Spread feelings harden

Dendritic shorts come to naught
Failed circuit switch
Mined powder, dementia

Whitewashing anguish
Extinguishing, we perish
Each cause ill fate
Go ahead and stare
at me…
I will never blink
Being partly there

No smoking hot Medusa
Wilting willow hair for snakes

Think of me as Dostoyesky

Hearing appraisal howls

Trumpet blares, wailing wolf

Rejoicing from inner war

Before night quells peace

When missing sentences kill

Me, Anna Karenina

This solitude, an empty room

Torture acts
Beyond contemplation
Mourning life
Lost sight
Truth lies
Self taken

Arresting spirit, one-way vacation
Upon snowflake-pattern doily
A flower vase empty, missing blooms
Frost replaced spring afternoons
Table-sized at grandma’s
Fighting epileptic agony
“Verily, Verily, I say unto you,”
What is memory
When depression wills?
Light unto infinity
Judgments nobody asks until

Engravement upon his tombstone
Please
“Except a corn of wheat fall
Into the ground and die

When hammers chiseling tragedy
Carved below an arc of slate
To make the place of rest, decay
For all our flesh
That is fate
We are the dirt
I am afraid

Cancer sticks
They too pass on
Dismissed, not lit
Tasting chemically bitter
Having lost rounds through half-life
Eclipsed sunshine; wax-sealed
Penny lain upon each eye
As the music leaves
This prop stands, waiting
For someone to finally don’t shoot me

________________
Want to take a Listen?

*This poem is my response to the One Stop Poetry Sunday Picture Prompt Challenge. The prompt was shot by photographer Fee Easton, featured today on One Stop Poetry.

37 Responses to “Dying Requests”

  1. By far one of your very best. Amazing.

  2. Thank you, Sir

  3. betweenhearts75 Says:

    Slow suicide, dying inside…..wowww. Incredibly written and strong! This should be an ad for smoking cessation! Great Photo prompt challenge!🙂 Excellent Adam! ~April

  4. libraryscene Says:

    wow.. just when I thought it was safe to go to sleep.. may have to revisit for reread tomorrow (hmm, guess it is) Edgy, but with heart, bravo.

  5. a frenzied ride through the tattered life of a walking corpse…stare i won’t blink.truly tremendous piece!

  6. You really went for this one, I could see the believe and passion behind every line I read, a beautiful piece friend

  7. Anita Wakeham Says:

    A great write Adam, it really hits home and I’m a non smoker😉.

    Anita.

  8. dude this is a wicked write…marvelous flow and word play…hard to pick just one but the arresting spirit stanza i think was my fav…vivid imagery of one losing life one toke at a time…

  9. Look to long in the mirror darkly and the medusan meltdown starts. You caught the snarl of it.

  10. incredible words, derived and delivered…your ability to drift and weave is admirable…she deserved them

    Peace, hp

  11. The whole thing packs a punch, Adam, but the first two stanzas especially.
    The “hypocritically kind” and the “dendritic shorts come to nought” I particularly liked.

  12. When I saw the photo prompt this morning, I was reminded of the Jane Fonda movie, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” Your poem, with all its rich complexity, captures that same sense. Well done, Adam.

  13. wicked flow in this adam – you had me from the roman candles and double-shots
    and as always – enjoyed to heart you read it

  14. –enjoyed to hear you read it– i meant..

  15. Powerful!

    ♥ ஆεlεɳa ~.^

  16. Actually felt the sadness through this poem. Doling out death in doubles glasses, now that’s an amzing line for any poem. You keep on getting better Adam.

  17. There are so many fav lines through out this one – bravo!

  18. This obviously opened a door for you, adam. What an excellent piece, full of depth and complexity and taking the reader through a graveyard where every tombstone has an epitaph that must be read and assimilated. I was particularly struck by the thousand yard stare, Medusa ref and the willow/ snake hair. Just fine stuff.

  19. i have read this three times and think i’ll be back for more. an absolutely brilliant poem, Adam. are you an ex-smoker by any chance?

  20. Deanna Schrayer Says:

    Wow….just wow. This is one of your very best by far – so poignant, so true to life. Outstanding piece!

  21. Some heavy last requests for this soul…a slow dying of body awaiting relief and rest….lots of thoughts…rolled into this write…Nice Write Dustus…bkm

  22. I love the literary allusions in the piece, and of course the reference to Medusa is striking. The flow/voice is unrelenting as if indeed chiseling not merely tombstone but the reader’s psyche. “That is fate/ We are the dirt / I am afraid”–profound truth spoken as a dying wish. An excellent write, Adam.

  23. A very strong and lyrical poem…with such powerful undertones in it…kudos!

  24. Holy cow, Adam, that is absolutely magnificent! No one can weave words together as you can, to take us on such a ride into the veins of so many places unknown, yet made so familiar by your unique voice.

    Wow!

    xo

  25. This is way over the top fabulous– I concur that it is among your very very best– I loved No smoking hot Medusa
    Wilting willow hair for snakes
    Think of me as Dostoyesky
    Hearing appraisal howls
    Trumpet blares, wailing wolf
    Rejoicing from inner war
    Before night quells peace
    When missing sentences kill
    Me, Anna Karenina
    This solitude, an empty room
    Torture acts
    Beyond contemplation
    Mourning life
    Lost sight
    Truth lies
    Self taken

    You took many risks of emotion and language in this poem, as if you had let yourself go. That is what it takes to write brilliantly, I believe. sometimes very hard to do. xxxj

    • I feel honored by your compliment—all the more so because I respect your artistry, as well as your own continuous effort to take emotional risks. I attempt to improve on craft with each write, and your encouragement helps me. Thank you, Jenne.

  26. Adam, a powerful presentation with your words, but I still like me a
    cigarette or two:)

  27. That image is very arresting. Fits your poem perfectly.

  28. Adam, again, your vocabulary both intimidates and inspires, making me want to do more and write more. From open to close, I couldn’t have stopped reading even if I wanted to…and then back for more. There was a passion here that you ran with, growing stronger and more intense with each line. Fantastic, wonderful, FELT…I can only hope to one day write this way…SERIOUSLY!

  29. Wow an incredible list of tough images.
    It’s one of those poems you cant just read once.
    What a statement

  30. Garish Fantasy Says:

    You have found a new fan in me dustus.

    *
    Into the ground and die
    When hammers chiseling tragedy
    Carved below an arc of slate
    To make the place of rest, decay
    For all our flesh
    That is fate
    We are the dirt
    I am afraid
    *
    my favorite in this wrote
    Wonder in imagery this.

  31. oh my word! listening to you read that out loud… touched me deep…..

  32. Honestly, I had to take the time to reread and absorb this overwhleming panorama of brokenness that you present without the messiness of such state. Brilliant! Awesome! Jenne’s quotes are mine too. But I would rather quote the whole poem… Thanks, Adam!

  33. Adam,

    This is overwhelming. a complete stream of consciousness it seems compared to your usual writing. Like others have said, the depth and intensity of emotions hit me like a freight train!

    Also, many amazing references [medusa, Tolstoy’s character (funny, I was just looking at that book last night) , neuro implications of alzheimer’s/dementia, depression…]

    My fav visual line is this, however: “wax-sealed
    Penny lain upon each eye” …it is so concrete and morbid. enjoyed it all…thanks.

    Sheila

  34. Graphically lit imagery, literary references, anatomical language– this poem has a little bit of everything, making quite a story. Bravo.

  35. So many striking images – wild work.

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