Quenapril’s Living Will
Dennis Mahagin

Bedside nurses scrawl case notes on clipboards—as cash advances,

so too I etch these Last Wishes—via jagged blue EKG, and by chance

should an orderly jester splice my I.V. with iPod, so that Neil Young

sings Helpless in my veins—a prophylaxis track, tapped on 1st whack—
don’t assume prankster phlebotomist seeks to raise Toe-Tap from the Dead,
but let his musical transfusions resume instead—ingenious & extraordinary!

However, I insist on my latent ambivalence in the face of extraordinary

measures like artificial respiration which might be undertaken to advance

flagging chances in Persistent Vegetative State, as marionette of the dead,

though I’m quite copacetic with Defibrillator Resuscitation, if by chance

those spark-spitting super-suction shocker paddles might whack my ass
out of cardiac arrest—as a minor miracle reserved for Jesus & the young.

I.V lines, they hang like dreadlocks from the headphones of the young,
lemon-yellow antibiotic liberty caps kill time with such extraordinary
prejudice … Such is my taste in music: as the juveniles say: “whacked”
—some A.M. Johnny Cash, F. Zappa at night, I hum the lines in advance
of each verse, unlike when I walked upright, so terrified to take chances,
I hushed the nervous rip tide w/many chemicals, as embalmer of the dead.

So very convenient to kill Time, blissfully unaware that you are dead,
so many forgettable songs, and I bounced along—impersonating the young;
like a trucker wired on whites, groping green dashboard dials, blind chance
cuts the static once or twice with a favorite song, occasionally extraordinary;
meanwhile, this trucker, emboldened, gobbles whites as pay advances,
and after the head-on crack-up, is paralyzed, and wishes to be whacked.

Bob Marley sat in Limbo—Rasta wouldn’t let his cancer toe be whacked
off, he let it go, the evil shit ate him up slow, till he was grateful to be dead;
meanwhile, I lie here—volume wide open as the iPod Shuffle advances—
Jimi, to Jimbo, Jaco and Stevie Ray, “Bird” Parker to Lester “Prez” Young;
I suck overtones from artificial respirator like cold fountain so extraordinary;
Let me listen! Let me listen, do you hear? As long as there remains a chance …

Did you hear? I eschew young Kevorkian interventions, fat chance Jack
digs punk rock a la harpsichord death fugue—so sublime, being not-whacked,

lying here, setting down all the latent particulars makes me feel extraordinary

as Leslie West’s Mountain band in Nantucket blew away the Grateful Dead,

I was there in ’82—with Canned Heat, Beef Heart & Jesse Colin Young,
though headstrong Leslie West did press Promoter for meretricious advances,

Les flirted deadpan with many Doc Kevorkians, took not a few illicit chances,
on extraordinary Paddle Wheeler, after 1 too many white rails, West whacked

his temple on mainsail, w/no coma note advanced, since he awoke—as Jesus

and the young.

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