Yesterday, I smelled a dead man’s body


Yesterday, I smelled a dead man’s body.

And the flies knew before I did,

Like some new restaurant, they were

At the door, even going underneath it.

I knocked repeatedly and no one


One minute standing and the next

Unconscious forever.

I saw the man, thin, goateed, gray-haired

Seemingly viable, kind, and soft-spoken.

His car was without hubcaps, one of those

Light Toyotas, dark-colored like the night sky.

He always wore the same jacket, pants and shirt

That matched his car.

We had cordial conversations and not much more.

I never thought to bother him.

We have our own lives.

Maybe he lost his job,

Fell off a ladder,

Had a heart attack;

I just don’t know.

There was a gentleman’s silence

Between us.

No family, no wife, no children,

Perhaps the economy is to blame:

Enron, Bank of America, anything

Too big to fail?


  1. Interesting picture and poem. As far as the picture I see a figure of evil, a devil with a saint crown over its head and a blueish part of the dress. But to me it is more devil than saint. The way it looks, laughing at us cruelly. A devil disguised as a saint. There is black for darkness and also a barbered wire fence around. It could be the monster we have created, our wrong model of society responsible for the man’s death in the poem.
    He dies alone, he is a victim of a system that dehumanizes us with extreme individualism (me, me, me), where real values of true love and solidarity among human beings are being lost. Big corporations, Enron, the Bank of America, such things are doomed to fail. I think it is because they are too big a monster, like your devil picture, they will fail. I like the combination of art and literature.

  2. I like that interpretation. What I initially had in mind was something akin to a human ripple in a black pool, but that’s not what I ended up drawing. Perhaps in time, it will make more sense to me. Thank you for honoring it with an interpretation!

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