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.
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.
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.
Eating Spumoni with Death
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.
Poems by Paul Ferrell