Monologists

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I do not find it profitable to talk to the dead!
They are so single-minded!

They repeat old stories over and over
Until one feels like screaming: “PLEASE MOVE ON!”

The dead are ventriloquists.
As soon as you think they’re silent,
A living soul takes up their mantle,
Suddenly nudging you:

“Did you hear the one about…?”

(And…you’ve heard it 50 zillion times!)

“Would you please shut up?!” you want to cry,
“Or at least get out of your funereal duds?
Can’t you see, we’re trying to forget you?
Can’t you see, you’re ruining our day?”

But the dead just keep yammering:

Yackety-yack, yackety-yack,
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….

And, finally, you realize
what they’ve been trying to tell you—

something indefinable…
something ineluctable….

You listen….
You remember….
You understand….

And…

you cry….

Gary Steven Corseri has published novels and poetry collections, and published/posted poetry, prose and dramas at hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide, including, Countercurrents, Counterpunch, Transcend Media Service, Village Voice, and The New York Times.  He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library, and his dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere.  He has taught at universities in the U.S. and Japan and in US public schools and prisons.


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