The Curator Laid To Rest

Tom Pappalardo


They will lower me into the hole they've dug in my yard,

My casket lined with VHS tapes and Sharpies,

USB cables coiled around my chest,

And a rotary telephone held in each cold hand.


My mouth filled with keys to forgotten doors,

A 9-volt battery covering each eye,

Resting on a cushion of thrift store t-shirts

Cradling my sketchbook-stuffed corpse.


Balancing atop a shifting platform of scrap plywood,

Old books, rub-on lettering, and coffee mugs,

A choir of well-meaning friends will burst forth in joyful melody,

"Everything must go! Everything must go!"


And the mourners, bravely choking back their tears and regrets,

Will be required to take home a minimum of ten compact discs,

To be prominently displayed in their homes as a shrine

For the laughing dead man who never has to move again.


Tom Pappalardo is a writer, musician, and graphic designer from western Massachusetts. Tom's writing has appeared in a handful of regional anthologies and alt weeklies, and has also been adapted for radio. Check out his website and his portfolio.