#1
At Your Funeral, Reading from the Pulpit

About the willow trees that grew in the park near your house
when we were seventeen and still teething on each other’s rough edges.

I couldn’t finish,
there were too many roses growing up through my throat
with vines sprouting polaroids, playbills, and pills
we took down by the river
to dance with the angels, the lightning bug princes that taught us to fly.

To heaven, you reckoned,
God was an astronaut
and Jesus was a horse
sent to carry us home.

I shivered, the way you trembled
when we were caught suds-upped in your parents bath,
late night talks about Hiroshima, about
what obliteration felt like

to the innocent we hoped it was freedom,
but what were the cosmic metrics of guilt?

Cold and clad in your Garfield pajamas
we buried you and I read from the pulpit
Psalm 23 for your parents, and then about the willow trees
and then about the roses, the vines sprouting
and how I missed your cheap Chanel fragrance at concerts;
I listed little things like a butcher
trying to make meaning out of his delivery.

And I cried. And some horns sounded. And a horse whinnied
from somewhere deep inside the dark.
#2
Frustratingly, grasping for meaning in the universal alongside the recognition of the more ordinary local seems to recur a lot in your work, and I've always found you far more interesting when you completely focus on the latter, having the former come into view only towards the climactic statements of your ruminations. You appear to touch on this in the "Cold and clad" stanza, I guess, and it comes across as a little frustrated at the very form itself. What I don't like is the finale and the very meh sentiments that come with it. It's like a set up without a punchline . Or with a punchline, but a very (for me) mediocre one for the talent on the stage. Because it's like you've shown you have the words, but then... there are no words, life goes on and horses make noises.

I just think you say things better when you're not going as big as god, astronaut, jesus, cosmic, angels, hiroshima. The chanel and butcher lines were the better parts of this for me for that very reason, they felt more you. The rest had a bit of S&L rust on them. Idk. Cheers Dyl.
#3
First of all, it's great to read from you again, Dylan; I've missed seeing you post.

Second, I really liked this piece. Unlike Jammydude, I felt like here, the Jesus/God mentions actually were part of the ordinary things you were describing. It seemed like you were letting us in on really intimate conversations/moments between the two of you, and I definitely felt that. I appreciated the coming back around to the roses and vines at the end, too. I thought that was a solid move. Honestly, I really enjoyed this. I've read other pieces from you that were perhaps better written, but this one hit me in a way I needed to be hit. So thank you.
#4
Mostly the images add up nicely. "lightning bug princes that taught us to fly," starts to get a little overly glittery, though.

Oblivion as a backdrop to all the specific memories is nice. I took "some horns sounded" as you wrapping some apocalypse into the end, especially with the horse image, but maybe I'm putting too much weight on that? Seems to sit well alongside the mention of Hiroshima, though.

What a loss, though. Take care.
#5
This all felt strangely familiar, yet I am glad it hasn't happened yet. I don't want to get into details, but the glittery parts kinda reminds of being stoned, all the good moments being high and revelating about the universe. Is how I see this piece atleast, anyways it speaks for a lot of things, and I think you made this very relatable.
#6
Quote by #1 synth
At Your Funeral, Reading from the Pulpit

About the willow trees that grew in the park near your house
when we were seventeen and still teething on each other’s rough edges. To begin, this is wonderful from a technical and aesthetic standpoint. It also sets an intimate tone - one wherein the subject has clearly grown since, but has not forgotton or lost the importance of the moment.

I couldn’t finish,
there were too many roses growing up through my throat
with vines sprouting polaroids, playbills, and pills
we took down by the river
to dance with the angels, the lightning bug princes that taught us to fly. This is also great. Particularly the third and fifth lines. A lot of raw aesthetic pleasure in reading them. It is a very nice way to describe the feeling of being choked up, out of grief and out of love. I might change the position of playbills to the position of polaroids, though. The alliteration is great but something about -ills -ills bothered me.

To heaven, you reckoned,
God was an astronaut
and Jesus was a horse
sent to carry us home.

I shivered, the way you trembled
when we were caught suds-upped in your parents bath,
late night talks about Hiroshima, about
what obliteration felt like

to the innocent we hoped it was freedom,
but what were the cosmic metrics of guilt? These stanzas were good. These weren't the nearly perfect stanzas from above, but they were definitely strong. Particularly the last two lines of the fourth stanza. To casually bring up something so heavy as if it is just another conversation piece - kind of really awesome.

Cold and clad in your Garfield pajamas
we buried you and I read from the pulpit
Psalm 23 for your parents, and then about the willow trees
and then about the roses, the vines sprouting
and how I missed your cheap Chanel fragrance at concerts;
I listed little things like a butcher
trying to make meaning out of his delivery.

And I cried. And some horns sounded. And a horse whinnied
from somewhere deep inside the dark. These last two stanzas - particularly the very last one - were very powerful to me. It really conveys the feeling of 'this isn't good enough' or 'this doesn't mean enough' very well.


All in all I really enjoyed the read. If this is based in reality then I am sorry for your loss.