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Sunday, July 12, 2015


by Jim Gustafson

CALAIS, Maine — A local man was killed instantly Saturday when he set off a fireworks mortar tube on his head, despite efforts his friends made to stop him, state police said Sunday. —Bangor Daily News July 5, 2015. Editor's note: The file photograph is NOT that of the victim in Maine, but of someone else deserving at least a Darwin Award Honorable Mention.

with apologies to Walt Whitman

I will place a rocket on my head, in a few moments I’ll be dead.
To celebrate myself, I’ll place a rocket on my head. I’ll strike a
match, light its fuse and let the sizzle climb my face. The rocket
will explode my brain and l spread my wisdom around the place.
People will scream as every atom which once belonged to me
will now belong to them. They will drip from their bottles, stick
in their hair. They will be sick because I took the dare. And when
they return to work, the holiday past, the smoke of my own breath
shall whisper.

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He holds an MFA from University of Tampa and a M. Div., from Garrett Theological Seminary. He teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida Southwestern State College.  His work has most recently appeared in Prick of the Spindle, Foliate Oak, Poetry Quarterly. He lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.