Dead Man’s Melons

Dead man still recalls the lost sensations of his final smooth claret, the crystal curvature of expensive glass; cool against his manicured hands, the way his solemn loneliness was reflected in the glitzy neon lights outside his Carrera marble-countertop apartment prison. He still recalls the humming whispering of simpleton decisions from the mahogany electric fan above; dire dark decisions easily postponed throughout his listless loneliness.

Dead man walks heavily through massive concrete walls to the lugubrious places where he never dared to tread before. He cannot touch the unwashed tresses plastered to the waxy skull of his drunken daughter; she lies whimpering, all alone in her basement of debase; her penumbra mattress is still caked with wasted semen from her always absent men. Dead man bends his heavy head and leaves on leaded boots.

Dead man is November mud; he searches through his cages made of glass, where his life-time trickled into spread-sheet loneliness and diamond cufflinks for a one-night stand. He still recalls the chalk of meetings on the 13th floor; water veins of cocktails simmered acquisitions in the dead-lines for his carnivores. He walks balance sheets; his pockets filled with soil and ash.

Dead man detours into back-alleys to see the 33 dollar paintings from the man his mistress birthed 11 days before he humpbacked through her back-door; he had painted marks of Maker’s Mark as a testimony of what had past; he carried bags of watermelons to his penthouse to pay another crystal tribute in claret.

Dead man sheds some sand from marbles; ash and dust; he cannot drain the melon from his chest. Tears are sand and ash. Dead man’s melon is still carved with jack-o-lantern smirks and is filled with yet more sand and ash from his 1003 gallon aquarium where the dragon-fish has died of thirst.

Dead man finger-paints in lichen; scars are indentations; the razor letters carved in granite; laced with vagrant voices; accusations filled with 23 and one lashes from its sacrilege. Reading loud:

Here Rests Mary Ellen Dickinson
Mother and wife

Dead man leaves; knowing the he yet has much more mud to excavate for skeletal remains of neglected harvests. Dead man’s melons are the cancer of his withered vines.

Dead man’s melons have the weight of unlived life.

Linked to Toad OLM. This was written as an exercise in Creative Writing I am following. The first two paragraph is loaded with modifiers whereas the rest of the piece is written (mostly) without any adjectives or adverbs… Somehow it also turned out to portray a mental disintegration of the narrator.

November 10, 2014

24 responses to “Dead Man’s Melons

  1. Bjorn, That has a bit of the feel of Marley’s ghost about it. Too bad he can’t appear and save anyone his fate. He really left a mess behind. Well written. — Suzanne

  2. A curious curve, more alive the deader this Dead Man becomes. Sometimes I wonder if we’re all dead there except by the grace of what poetry turns up and over.

  3. I am a great fan of Marvin Bell’s Dead Man poetry and this piece of yours seems in keeping with his approach. I think that each paragraph has incredible depth, both in terms of physical and psychological detail. This is really a fascinating study.

  4. Bjorn, this is so good. I love the form and working with it although circumstances didn’t allow me to write a new one. You have captured some incredible images in this: November mud, finger-painting in lichen. Reading your poem may help me emerge from my slump (when/if I can find time).

  5. The dead somehow seems to have a life of its own. They may be dead but the soul is still very much alive roaming in familiar environments. No wonder one gets an eerie feeling sometimes. This verse creates a little of that too. Well crafted Bjorn!


  6. Oh my God, I am so glad I didnt miss this one! This is BRILLIANT writing, Bjorn – way too many fantastic lines to quote……..I was riveted. Absolutely gripping writing, an incredible story well-told, this is what writing poetry strives for. You have reached the mountaintop, my friend! Best dead man poem ever!

  7. The repetition works so well. Seeing a dead man doing things over and over, reminding the reader that just because he’s moving it doesn’t mean that he is living…


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