Death:  A Great Invention

By Neil Carpathios

People are a lot nicer
when they’re dead
They don’t get impatient
Waiting in line at the video store.
They don’t turn red
and flip you the finger
in traffic and they don’t tear
pages out of magazines in
waiting rooms
They don’t fart in elevators or
fake orgasms
You can say whatever you want
And they won’t fire back a sarcastic remark
In fact, they are great
listeners and will not squirm
or rush you through the boring account
of your day. They don’t invent
interrogation devices to electrocute
your genitals. They don’t place X’s
on a map where bombs will be dropped.
They don’t make speeches sprinkled
with promises they’ll never keep.
They are much like old furniture
sitting silently, unthreatening,
docile, stored in an attic—
or like an imaginary friend from
childhood who you could
tell anything to and boss around
And what’s best of all about the dead
Is you don’t have to wonder
if they really love you or are being dutiful
or if they still think sadly
about that time after the spat
when you said
you wished they were dead.


Neil Carpathios has published three full-length poetry collections:  Playground of Flesh (Main Street Rag), At the Axis of Imponderables (winner of the Quercus Review Press Book Award), and Beyond the Bones (FutureCycle Press). Currently, he serves as an English professor and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Share |