Joe Speer



    I'd Rather Die

   (inspired by G. Murray Thomas "Skin cancer")
    I'd rather die...
    with a poem in a lit zine
    than to have my name on a white stone
    in the military cemetery
    I'd rather die...
    from drinking stout in an Irish pub
    than sipping decaf in a trendy coffeehouse
    I'd rather die...
    on Venice Beach with the waves
    pulling me out to sea than in a traffic jam
    on the Santa Monica freeway
    I'd rather die...
    in bed whispering witticisms
    to someone I love than to step
    on a land mine and bleed to death
    while waiting for a defrocked priest
    to deliver extreme unction
    I'd rather die...
    watching poetry fly out the window
    than survive the silence of a cul-de-sac
    I'd rather die...
    asleep on a Greyhound bus
    headed west while having a wet dream
    than to croak filling out my income tax return
    while IRS agents confiscate my cat
    I'd rather die...
    writing poetry
    than solving algebraic equations
    I'd rather die...
    surrounded by books
    than to live and
    be forced to watch
    reruns of TV sitcoms
    But most of all
    I'd rather live...
    and keep the beat