Howard Firkin
I lived for art and died art-broken, Callas,
cold, unfeeling now. Vissi d’arte,
I heard with sobbing ears and learnt, in part,
that art is first a walk-on part in Dallas,
then Bay Watch, then, like waves, the credits roll.
I died and didn’t go to heaven; I’ve
stayed here and watched as others came and went,
tried getting even as their breath was spent
as meanly as their money and their lives.
Will no one dig me out to leave this whole?

My prayers are sung internally. My walls
are hung with pictures, back to front. My phone
responds to bingo numbers no one calls.
It’s not bad dead; it’s horrible alone.