My Writing

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Death Section

Because I don’t think we have been morbid enough yet, I would like to write some more about death, specifically the many horrendous and/or bizarre methods of achieving death, to wit:

Standing in the way of an axe. And then getting fed to a wood chipper.

Self-inflicted gunshot to the temple.

Death by hemlock, as punishment for “corrupting the youth.”

Found wearing someone else’s clothing, lying dead on the streets of Baltimore after spending the previous night with “the jimjams,” or “jazz hands,” or “the staggers and jags,” or “the horrors,” that is, suffering from wicked wicked alcohol withdrawal, muttering the name “Reynolds” over and over again for some reason, then collapsing on the street, mumbling “Lord help my poor soul” before expiring.

From starvation, in a Viennese sanatorium, while suffering from “suicide headaches” and tuberculosis.

From pneumonia and a pulmonary abscess, after being confined to a cork-lined bedroom for 3 years.

In Bangkok, at the age of 53, electrocution by poorly grounded electric fan, while stepping out of the bathtub.

Hanging by a rope in a closet in Bangkok, following “accidental autoerotic asphyxiation.”

Accidentally slipping off a boat and drowning after “seven or eight” glasses of wine.

From peritonitis, on an ocean liner bound for Brazil, after swallowing a toothpick at a cocktail party.

Bleeding to death from a nosebleed on wedding night.

From pneumonia, while experimenting with freezing a chicken by stuffing it with snow.

Via smashing head on board while attempting a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position at the World University Games.

From tuberculosis, while sipping champagne, with these last words: “I’m dying. It’s a long time since I drank champagne.”

“Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.”


“Good-bye…why am I hemorrhaging?”

“Is it the Fourth?”

“Is it not meningitis?”

“Am I dying or is this my birthday?”


“How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?”

“I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”

“Ah, that tastes nice. Thank you.”

“I am still alive!”

“Ay Jesus.”

“I am not the least afraid to die.”

“I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”

“Does nobody understand?”

Via jumping into the thousand-foot crater of a volcano on the island of Oshima.

Via disembowelment and decapitation as a protest of the Westernization of Japan.

Via sticking head in oven with gas on.

Some claim barbiturates, others claim via wrapping a plastic bag around head, following allegations of plagiarism and suffering from an irregular heartbeat; suicide note reads: “I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity.”

Burned to death at the stake, coals raked back to expose the body, then burned twice more, following sexual molestation while being held in prison, all this due to “heresy.”

Found dead in backseat of white Renault parked for 10 days on a quiet Paris street; overdose of barbiturates and alcohol, suicide note reading: “Forgive me. I can no longer live with my nerves”; this following a FBI-planted, fabricated newspaper item claiming pregnancy out-of-wedlock, planted by Hoover as revenge for voicing support for the NAACP and the Black Panthers, which allegedly led to premature labor and a stillborn child; also following a previous failed suicide attempt via jumping in front of a Metro train.

Bullet to the jaw while standing on the second-floor balcony of a motel in Memphis.

With the words, “Let’s cool it, brothers,” followed by 16 bullets.

A bullet in the back, a bullet in the head, while riding in a limousine in Texas.

Shot 3 times in a crowded kitchen at a hotel, with a .22-caliber revolver.

4 bullets to the back outside the Dakota, by a man clutching a copy of The Catcher in the Rye.

4 bullets, in a drive-by on the Vegas Strip.

4 bullets to the chest, while stopped at a red light in San Francisco.

Death by bullets and grenades, while walking unarmed with 8 brothers in South Vietnam.

Death by self-immolation, in protest.

Death by gas chamber.

Via a jump into the Gulf of Mexico, exclaiming, “Goodbye, everybody!” after having been beaten for sexual advances on a fellow male crew member.

Via an internal hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis, due to a lifetime of heavy drinking.

Via propofol, lorazepam, and midazolam, at the age of 50.

Via complications from cosmetic surgery.

From AIDS, at the age of 42.

From congestive heart failure resulting from complications of pneumonia, after the words “I’m going away tonight” and 3 long, quiet breaths.

From natural causes, at the age of 91, after having lived in seclusion for 57 years.

Death by hanging from a patio roof rafter, after years of suffering from severe depression, after suffering a relapse and undergoing electroconvulsive therapy, to no avail.


You know I listened to that song, “Human After All,” on the bus today.

Those life-affirming “robots.”

Human beings in costume, faces hidden. Standing on a pyramid. Crowds of thousands.

In order to establish a connection.

To create a memorable moment in time.

For no other reason.

In the summertime.

In Grant Park, Chicago.

I have been there, to Grant Park, for Lollapalooza.

I am writing now; spring is approaching.

I am writing outside at a café in Paris, with croissant and café au lait. I am writing at a hookah bar on the island of Marmara, the sea Propontis bathing me in soft wet breezes. I am writing at a table by my window over the street, my apartment in Lakeview. I am writing lying down in what were once cornfields on my grandpa’s farm in Rockford. The air is crisp and cool; the sun is shining.


  1. Hai did u really go to paris bro?

    Or are u just jacking me with ur literary prowess atm?

  2. Hai Steve

    i have been 2 paris. one time so far

    was i rlly writing there when i wrote this

    im jackin

  3. sweet story stephen

    'dat voice'

  4. thanks omar :)

    hope you don't mind me using your image for dat macro

    i feel joy when i encounter your presence, so i thought it'd be good to have you with that phrase