Do you ever think of the art of leaving the world with a good one-liner? It is an art form, you know, though perhaps generally inadvertent. For instance, James Brown said, “I’m going away tonight.” Lewis Carroll said, “Take away those pillows, I shall need them no more.” Lou Costello said, “That was the best ice cream soda I ever tasted.” And Thoreau said, “Moose … Indian.”
Don’t misunderstand: I’m not expecting to need a good one any time soon. I was just thinking about it, and thought I’d have a bit of fun. so I’ve been making a list of little phrases that might serve on on the way out. Most are original, while some are based on the profundity of great thinkers from Oscar Wilde to Charlie Brown.
Let me know what you think. … Oh, and here’s a poem too.
- I hid the gold behind the …
- Well, I sure didn’t see this coming.
- Aw, who cut the cheese?
- Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
- And now for a word from our sponsor.
- Excuse me a moment.
- Somebody wind the clock.
- I smell pancakes.
- Time to piss on the fire and call the dogs.
- Good grief.
- Don’t tell me, let me guess.
- Is there any more pie?
- Stand back, let me handle this.
- Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.
- Now was all that really necessary?
- I make a motion to adjourn.
- Has anybody seen my hat?
- Well, that’s how they get ya.
- Tomorrow will be beautiful.
- Get the gate.
- Did you say wheat?
- Stop at the next gas station, I need to pee.
And finally …
- Don’t laugh, you’re next.
The Last Word
So this is what it’s like
to be alive. It is all
so difficult; the air and light
resist me. Even the music
makes me cry or laugh.
I expected we would have wings
and make love behind waterfalls.
I thought there would be
and elephants fearlessly singing.
I thought I could make you believe
in water running through rocks
between the trees.
You would bend down to drink
and find me living there
with the last word of the first poem
that would ever make you weep.
Then you would love me. Then
you would return my calls.
But here we are, living
on our oily streets
and the malignant traffic running
between us, helicopters
pounding down the sky.
The elephants are wise
and careful and very shy.
So I am leaving messages
for you: the last word
of every poem I write.
The Last Word by Kyle Kimberlin is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution-
NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.