For Those Fully Alive in the Afterlife

Van Gogh’s ear wanders the countryside listening for the perfect shade of sunflower yellow. The long-deaf ghost of Beethoven feels the underground’s rumblings, makes music of the earth’s turnings. Lorca wields the right-wing bullets that gunned him down, forges them into diamonds for the oppressed. The suicidally love-sick Mayakovsky finally realizes that being shunned by the one you love doesn’t pain the heart so much when you’re adored by the masses. Hemingway plays his extermination in reverse, realizes it says, “Paul is dead.”

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