Dead by Christmas
for PER YNGVE OHLIN
I only came once a year –
One too many times for you.
I’ve seen the way you unwrap presents;
Performing autopsies on pheasants
Wouldn’t strike you as so unpleasant,
Wouldn’t be as difficult a thing to do.
You couldn’t sing for croaking,
It was the fashion of your age.
Dead by name, dead by nature:
You were a pitifully morbid creature,
Painting Pierrotesque your features.
Opening arteries onstage –
You liked to watch the blood flow
Over your scrawny Swedish arms,
And the horror on the faces
Of the people in those places
Where you dealt in dead disgraces,
Vomited your vocal charms.
You left me a dead badger
In a wet bag, like a broken toy,
Where others would leave milk and biscuits.
I’ve a bucket: do you want to kick this?
Did I fuck up your winter wish-list?
I knew you had a death-wish, boy.
If you want something doing,
Do it yourself. That’s what they say, right?
And although I admit it’s a shame
That outside Oslo you shot out your brain,
That act was the closest you got to being sane.
I remember that one winter night,
Flying over the peninsula –
Full was the moon, high was the tide:
I was on my way to a conference in France –
I stopped to watch you chase a cat around the garden in your pants.
I caught the glint of your kitchen knife, at a second glance,
And I shook my head, and sighed.
Mistaken for art or rubbish