"Death's Doorman"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 16 2007 6:31 AM

"Death's Doorman"

Click here to listen to Daniel Bosch read this poem.

Would this be ambience, or atmosphere?ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Fear.
I hadn't expected such an emptiness! ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº An empty nest.
Do you open up before or after a good pandering?ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº During.
Book, Web site, infomercial. Edginess must be catching.ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Ka-ching!
So let me be the first to congratulate— ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Too late.
What is it people seek in your utterances? ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Other answers.
You knew Mozart. Before he decomposed— ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººHe composed.
And Freud was your plumber. Conscious or unconscious?ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Kein Anschluss.
But have you ever crossed over? You know, necrophilia?ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Ophelia.
Celebrities! They run to sarcasm. ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Our chasm.
How do you do it? I'm already way off course.ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Of course.
Is that really his door? How does he like his irony?ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Runny.
I still sneeze when I hear a twenty-one-gun salute.ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Salud!
What would you do if you came to a precipice?ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Piss.
What can I say to my grandkids that's not uncool?ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Uncle.
Have you any plans for your obsolescence?ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Lessons.
And not a single kind word for posterity? ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººAusterity.
Well, you know what they say about the calendar.ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Endure.
How will I know when I reach you? ººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº I eat you.
So you, too, yearn for closure? ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Oh, sure.

Daniel Bosch teaches expository writing at Tufts University and is a poetry critic for the Artsfuse.