Eating Spumoni with Death

Poems by Paul Ferrell

Paul Ferrell is a poet/stand up comic from Illinois. His poetry has appeared in Pank, Jet Fuel Review, eyedrum periodically, etc. He tweets occasionally under the moniker memoryagent.

I asked Death to name some of her favorite rappers from the 1990’s.

Sitting across the table holding your smooth white breath like a jerk.

High School Reunion

Regarding the rumor that I am dead, I am not dead. Gossip regarding the last time the trees hit middle age. It’s summer. They still have their leaves, but the trees are growing skeptical. I feel sketchy (sketched in). The music is cool tonight.

I’m not quite grown up. I’m not quite ground up from the ground up. You still look like that same poolside mammal, tan, sipping from a glass of something orange and red, spinning a ball on your nose. You ask me what I’ve got going on ? Well, I’m currently trying to get something off the ground. It’s a cruise ship with paper wings.

I’m a director. I eat Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches for breakfast, concoct survival methods in restrooms while old men smoke in bars discussing the I.R.S. For the past few years I’ve been developing a project that consists solely of a single shot of myself having a seizure, sped up and looped.

You didn’t see me at the reunion or you didn’t recognize me? I’m not quite grown up or ground up from the ground up, but I was there. I remember the whole gymnasium was pregnant with paranoia. No one trusted what anyone else had to say. Kids? No. Married? No. But I love weddings and I hate funerals. Regarding the rumor that I am dead, I am still alive and I kiss it where it’s sweetest. Didn’t I make out with you inside the trunk of some old tree near the football field or was that a dream that I had? Yes, I still have dreams like that. They’re like cruise ships like with paper wings. Not quite ground up, but I will grow up to be just like you, but different.

The left side of the table is like           suicide and the other is the                     bad poetry of policemen. At                     some point you find yourself       cornered.

You drop your arms to the                   floor.

We place the elderly in                               their beds before the                                 sun goes down. Each                                   one of them is based                                 upon a true story.                                         Stay positive in this cold                           white of the sun.

I rewrote this poem like                             a double agent                                 sabotaging the coded                         language from his                                 chest. On the other                                     hand, life is short and                                 we ache to get it right.                           The kid in the                                     newspaper was                                 murdered for his                                   stripes, his chains                                     and his windpipe.                                     We recall some of                                     our favorite phrases                                   of his and dissect                                   them. The mood                                 changes with an                                  awkward chuckle.                                     It’s nice to share a                               dessert with                                           someone and not                                     have to talk about                                   Rilke.  

The ache you                 burn softly                   upon my                     body. The cold         shaking bone                 rattle. You                   told me I                     looked young               but I am the               oldest I have                 ever been.