Monday, January 22, 2018

New Poetry by Ed Wright

Screen of Death

When people die they go to television
and audition for their elevation.
Some are extra, others star
now it doesn’t matter. In my coffin
on the conveyor to the furnace
I dreamed that I might read the news or sing a song
on a talent show called What Went Wrong.
The flames forgot to touch me, but how to sing
one minute I was there, the next one gone –
a high note for when 
the clot exploded in my brain – sustained like a tragic diva
for the journey up the tunnel
of my last embodied thought:
pancakes hot and syrupy;
the sweet tart slightly gingerpop of blueberries with cream. 
I left my loved ones in the kitchen – now
they’re on the couch – large as life –
of the earth – intangible – 
channel surfing – for me? –
just outside the screen. 
Ghosts are prettier than people– making up for the past – or
just making it up – our blemishes 
are lessened by the lost dimension.
On the third week of my death
I rose again – from the casting couch –
and sang of tinned spaghetti –
May the sauce be with you! 
Sing it like you mean it – the director snarled, 
Then they showered me in the stuff. 
On a nearby set they were sequelling
The Sound of Music – perhaps
I could understudy the captain
and marry sweet Maria.A nice lady, 
who introduced herself
as the executive producer
came over with a towel
have faith, she said, have faith
and then I knew
as I dabbed the gunk from my eyes
that we would shoot the ad 
jingle all the way to hell 
and again 
and again …

- Ed Wright 2018

Ed Wright is the author of six non-fiction books including Lost Explorers (Pier 9) and Ghost Colonies (Pier 9). His first full-length collection of poetry, When Sky Becomes the Space Inside Your Head, was published by Puncher and Wattman in 2012. He currently writes the New Australian Fiction review column for the Australian and is Director of The Creative Word Shop. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and two children.

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