Do Not Go Gentle

My brother believed
it was the constancy
of the ordinary
that drove the masses
to Valium and Freud.
The tiresome ritual
that compelled some soul
to wash and dry the dishes
each night at 7:05–
just after the drumming
of the nightly news
had turned
his brain
to plum pudding.
Two children to
to scrub and bed–
A barely significant
snoring on the chaise
and dreaming
of doing evil.

He wanted
none of it—
the ritualistic
suicide
by everyday life.
He did
not “push the boundaries”—
that tired mantra
that would have you strive
for ordinary plus.
He raged
and courted
disaster
as some might court
Sweet Sue–
With someone else’s money
Someone else’s drugs
Someone else’s women.
What a splendid mess
he made of life.

And yet,
he died
such an ordinary death.
Cancer
Chemo
Morphine
Ashes.
I read
“Do not go gentle”
at his wake.
An obvious choice—
so heartily approved
by the attending
audience
I like to imagine
it made him
roar
with laughter.

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