obituary for a poet

by Marc Darnell

he wrote doomy
dire poems
passed over
by nouveau 
optimistic editors

then he stopped to 
marry chained to a 
cutlass and a shack 
of fat spawns 
raised on
processed food
who never finished
community college 

at fifty-four he tried 
once more writing 
this time cramming 
light into the poems
and taking out
the dark but all
the forced-in hope
was a virus 
attacking his honesty

consumed by belly 
and bbq by erectile 
failure by his slow 
palsy in the mirror
he died on a blank
untitled white bed 
while his wife 
wrapped china
with his poems
(original copies)

———

Here is a poem from the glamorous flood plain of Eastern Nebraska, where 84th Street in Omaha has 3 potholes per resident. Nebraska has a new poet laureate, but he won't return my phone calls. Marc Darnell graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop when it was still called that, and when he had more muscle and confidence and less fat and prescription drugs. Marc hopes you find his carefully-honed, chiseled rantings engaging. His mom's garden flooded and the propane tank tipped and leaked into it, but she still planted tomatoes there. Want some?