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Ode to Those I Wish Were Dead
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

Row after row, it is a garden of glee for me
The headstones yield names I long ago wished
Carved out of our collective consciousness;
In the dream I see, not freshly dug mounds
Piled up in dreary sacrament. Instead
It is a sleep, eternal beds of glass,
So that we may look in with minute scrutiny:
Britney is loosing her bloom, J. Lo. is quietly rotting.
They sought immortality, but were too vapid
To realize such things are impossible.

Pop culture is the desolation, not an eternity
Of a thousand years where the collective memory
Will hold you in adoration beyond those bodies
Which now feed root systems and baby worms.
Nay, Backstreet Boys, N Sync, 98 Degrees, O Town,
Think of those who have gone before thee.

Can you even remember them?
Ambitious peoples with a zeal for that brass ring you now have,
They remain a collective joke:
Vanilla Ice, M.C. Hammer, New Kids on the Block.
Or farther back, even farther, can you pinpoint
Pop angels of the forgotten: Thompson Twins,
Journey, ELO, the Mamas and the Papas,
The Crickets?
My brute force this: I want you to realize
They will forget you. They will turn on you.
They will bury you and move on to the next
Bright and shiny thing.

Dazed by the venom, you will have forgotten
The golden rule: Never assume you are loved.
I think you know what assuming makes of you and me-
Well, especially you anyway.

I know I can be a bitch, but in this heavenly dream
I'm not the one toothless and decomposing,
Becoming so much dust for the wind to scatter
And reform to create the next BIG THING.

***
Loving lifted from "Ode to the Confederate Dead" by Allen Tate (1899-1979), the full text of which can be found at http://www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=1077.

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