a bum’s demise*
slumber©papa osmubal

slumber©papa osmubal

a bum’s demise*
papa osmubal

He is dead: his liver turned
Hard and bone-dry like a stone.

He left in mysterious and unexpected
fashion, leaving us all asking

And wondering as though his demise
was a riddle that needed answering.

The night before we were all late
for the usual overnight binge.

After weeks in a public infirmary, he showed up
much earlier than us all, reading Verlaine, reading

Poetry in his favourite corner, silently filling
his lungs with Havana cigar smoke.

This man, one can say, did not know how
to live, but he sure was darn good at dying.

“Don’t give me girls tonight,” he blurted.
“I don’t want to be a father again!”

He poured his glass with a generous whiskey,
slammed a box of cigar on the table.

“Man lives once, and dies once,” he said,
guffawing like he was mocking us all.

As usual it was almost sunup when the gang
felt they had had more than enough.

He did not go the usual way, he went
towards where the sun was rising.

* This poem first appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal in February 2010.



4 Responses to

  1. Brian says:

    papa, your poem is full of the undercurrents of human struggle! It has a casual tone but that is deceiving, I think. I love the photo too. Did the photo become the poem or remind you of the poem?
    I have a wish to visit an old friend once again but lack the dollar wings I need. Write to me, poet.

  2. Brian says:

    Kora is in film school in Vancouver now! Lukas plays in the community orchestra and composes on keyboard and has a girlfriend. They are 18 and 17 now! How about Oscar’s?

    • macaupoetics says:

      Yeah, I saw some of Kora’s work on Youtube; you were in one of her short films. It was where you were drinking coffee. I remember that short film quiet vividly in my mind, Brian.

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