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Spectacle of Death

General Poetry - post, comment, review, critique
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Deb
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Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:18 am

Spectacle of Death

Tempt fate for one second
no sins rectified
after tragedy happens,
first of kin notified. 

Time’s cadence quickens
as it almost stands still.
Your own body thickens
with the emptiest chill. 

Plans in the making
you must have an obit
to put into record -
prove this death is legit
 

A handout from Fate to eternally languish
frozen pieces of time         
under blankets of anguish.
Catapult from the wreckage
to wallow in guilt,
then sift through the carnage
under bridges you built. 

All the should haves, and could haves.    
Do you tell yourself lies
that you really would have
tried that on for size?

That damned undertaker,
dollar signs in his pupils.
He feigns empathy
gets rich on his "scruples." 

Eulogy written with a skillful rendition
to put on a show
with no charge for admission
for those in the know. 

A prayer and a verse
the remembrance posts,
cough up for the hearse,
then send thank you notes.

~Deb
Last edited by Deb on Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Colm Roe
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Colm Roe » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:33 am

A cold, pragmatic and cynical poem, but I get the feeling the words disguise a personal experience.
The N has been devastated, not only by the death...but by the proceeding process that can't do justice or give comfort.
Thanks for sharing.

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:34 am

Thanks for commenting, Colm. I don't know what got into me. While I understand the need for closure the whole funeral business leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

~Deb

Tim J Brennan
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Tim J Brennan » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:23 pm

A good funeral home director is worth everything in the short window available to the family. If he or she isn't there, it's another kind of hell. This pretty much covers the second option.

things that work for me: "time's cadence" & "prove this death legit"...also like "a handout from Fate"

things bordering on cliche for me: "tempt fate" (which makes me struggles from the get-go) & "tried that on for size"

One is tempted to say, better luck next time, but that borders on the morbid ;) My mother's funeral was terrible. My father's funeral was almost a blessing. Both due to the differing ways the bereavement arrangements were handled.

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Tracy Mitchell
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:15 pm

The cold-hearted bastard priest passed the collection plate at my grampa's funeral.

Strong effort on a hideously difficult topic, Deb.  

Cheers.

T

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:32 am

Tracy Mitchell wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:15 pm
The cold-hearted bastard priest passed the collection plate at my grampa's funeral.

Strong effort on a hideously difficult topic, Deb.  

Cheers.

T

That's about as low down as you can go. I hope you were able to withhold payment on his services or that no one added a dime to the collection plate.

Unless arranged by the funeral home, or contractually agreed upon, services by Clergy are considered donations. A clever tax loophole. I've never in my life seen or heard of an offering plate passed at a funeral, Tracy. If that happened in Texas, someone would have taken the priest behind the church and decked him. That's like passing a money tree around a wedding. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and for commenting. ;)


~Deb
 

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:23 am

Tim J Brennan wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:23 pm
A good funeral home director is worth everything in the short window available to the family. If he or she isn't there, it's another kind of hell. This pretty much covers the second option.
I agree. I've seen several different aspects, approaches, and personalities, thus the spectacle.

I went to a 20-yr-old's Celebration of Life this evening. The lady who officiated was over the top with her rehearsed presentation. However, the family and friends who got up to speak gave this awesome kid a spectacular send-off. Before this evening, the only other time I've heard an F-BOMB dropped at a funeral was when John Cleese gave Graham Champman's Eulogy. I'm not a big fan of the F-BOMB (not that I haven't used it) but tonight it was brilliant.
Tim J Brennan wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:23 pm
things that work for me: "time's cadence" & "prove this death legit"...also like "a handout from Fate"
Thank you. I've never seen these used before, though I'm sure they have been. It's nice to have a thought and fantasize that it's original.

I used to work in reservations for United Airlines. When people called to get refunds on their non-refundable tickets, which most were in those days, we had to tell the customers that they would need to send a letter and a certified copy of the death certificate in order to request a refund. I always felt cold-hearted asking for someone to legitimize the death of a family member having to cancel a four ticket vacation because the dad had a heart attack or the mom or one of the kids was killed in a car accident.
 
Tim J Brennan wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:23 pm
things bordering on cliche for me: "tempt fate" (which makes me struggles from the get-go) & "tried that on for size"
 
From the get-go, I start with, "Tempt fate" knowing it's cliche'. This is not an excuse but I'm shooting from the hip here because a 20-year-old kid who went to school and hung out with my now 20-year-old son was killed in a motorcycle accident on December 29th. We attended the first service this evening.

He rode his Harley on a mountain road after a rare, once in one hundred year snow had fallen on the adjacent mountains and the curvy roads had an unusually thick amount of wet gravel and sand from the rain that had fallen at the lower levels where fires had been only four months ago. In this part of California, the sandstone hillsides crumble continuously, so road conditions are unpredictable. If that's not tempting Fate, I don't know what is.

I couldn't find a less cliche' way to say that. Any ideas?

"Tried that on for size" was a lazy way to make a rhyme from an adjoining thought. This entire stanza should probably go. Good catch. Thanks for calling me out on this. 
Tim J Brennan wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:23 pm
One is tempted to say, better luck next time, but that borders on the morbid ;) My mother's funeral was terrible. My father's funeral was almost a blessing. Both due to the differing ways the bereavement arrangements were handled.
It is morbid, the entire business of it all.

I'm happy to hear you had a nice funeral for Dad. 50/50 isn't half bad. That doesn't make the 50% that's sour bite any less.

I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment. Thank you.  :)

~Deb     

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Deb
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by Deb » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:41 am

 When I post, I'm not aware of whether I'm posting my efforts or posting a vent because when I'm venting it feels good, therefore it sounds, not too awfully bad. If I do not post it, and there is hope but it is bad,  I won't get feedback. At the same time, some things are not worthy of wasting people’s lives. So, how to tell?

It is only after I return to the post, I analyze whether or not it’s the effort that compelled me to post or my swirling emotions around the topic.  Here's where the 24-hour rule helps. However, there is something to be said in passionate moments that would otherwise be lost in the everyday humdrum,

I played with this for about two hours while watching a movie on Netflix the night before I went to help one of the neighborhood mothers in the ‘old neighborhood’ where our kids all grew up together, write the eulogy for her 20-year-old son. We completed the eulogy yesterday and she read it this evening. I've got to say, from the stories shared by the family and friends tonight, this kid had the best sendoff I've ever witnessed at a funeral service in spite of the trite officiating. Burial services are in the morning.

Too much? I wonder, is this annoying to more practiced poets? 
~Deb

ajduclos
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by ajduclos » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:54 pm

Deb - I had a very long and in depth comment written, but I left the laptop for a while to do a few other things.  When I came to complete it and submit it I found that i had been logged off - Tracy and I will have words and not necessarily poetic ones.  Image  Gonna try to summarize as best I can.

A great "vent", very difficult and poignant, painful.  I often write "rants" as poem/songs, so I get what you do.  Sometimes it's just got to get out and writing is a great modality.

S5 has issues as pointed out by Tim, in L4 "tried it out for size".  But I like the thought, and it follows S4 very well.  Perhaps a re-write?  Or mabye a change to L4 like "before remorseful sighs"......................

Funeral directors, undertakers, officiators can be wonderful or downright horrible.  Tracy, that was totally unbelievably grotesque.  Recently at a celebration of life for a dear friend and schoolmate the Reverend proselytized for over 15 minutes - I wanted to throttle him.............

Be well

Aj      

ajduclos
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Re: Spectacle of Death

Post by ajduclos » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:08 am

regretful may be better than remorseful....................

Aj 

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