That’s a fair question, and several people have asked me once they heard the title of my forthcoming poetry chapbook. Some of them seemed curious; others were more suspicious.
But that’s OK. I admit it is provocative. The poem Born-Again Death Wish, with its dueling connotations of religious conversion and suicide, speaks to the idea of dying to your old life in search of a better new one, of saving yourself from the meaningless drudgery of whatever has brought you to a dead end. I’ve included the poem below. I think it elucidates on the impulse to throw away the soul-deadening lives so many people find themselves living.
Some men sit lit by the flicker
of the screen, all day building
the shifty empires of great corporations.
When the heart begins its ill-timed flutter,
each has the same secret wish –
to rip the thing from his chest
before the blue screen sucks him in,
so he might discover at the end truly
what was kicking inside all those years.
Some reach in to grab a fistful of ashes.
Some poke past spider webs, where
their fingers float in the pulsing dark.
The lucky ones lay hold of wet clay
they remold into something like
the life they only dreamed.
Born-Again Death Wish, the book, is available now for pre-order at Finishing Line Press. Orders placed before April 17 get discounted shipping.