Death Day

Fog pushes down
on your death day,
then the rain moves in.
Plowable snow is forecast
for the holiday.
The radio reports
that today is the birthday
of Margaret Anderson,
who first published Ulysses,
burned as obscene.
Weirdly warm today, weirdly
windy too. No day
for fire.
In 1991, we burned you
on our collective retinas,
beautiful in life,
obscene in your youthful

Dedicated to the immortal spirit of Freddie Mercury, #24 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans.


  1. Ouch. I, too, remember a death--no. remember a life that ended too soon--on 11/22. I always link it with JFK tho there is no similarity. I like your link with the publisher, the levels of fire and obscenity. Of course--when not clearly rightly ordered--death is obscene.

  2. Alas a life burning out to early. I like how you leave the "you" in your poem until the end. It gives me more attention to all the details.. splendid

  3. Almost 25 years ago -- odd, how a memory holds forth on the wires of the wind. "Obscene" is an apt word when speaking of the tragedy of death. I remember the day my brother died as obscenely beautiful. How can it be? Yet it is. "Burned you / on our collective retinas": strange, how Mercury announced he had AIDS one day and was dead the next.

  4. nice dedication to Freddie Mercury... death is obscene when it comes with the unexpected

  5. I, too, really felt the impact of "burned...on our collective retinas, beautiful in life".

  6. "burned on our collective retinas" There are so many things we can't unsee. Lately there is way too many of those images.

  7. Some people leave an indelible mark in our collective conscious.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!