Marvin Bell

The Book of the Dead Man (Zine)

Live as if you were already dead.
Zen admonition

1. About the Dead Man and the Zine

The dead man saw the one Electronic Poetry Review begin and end.
Given the start and the finish, the dead man can toggle the first and the final.
For the Internet lasts forever, with Red Skelton and Martha Raye.
With Caruso, with Churchill, with Einstein inbound in sound waves that consume the vacuum.
We in our space bubble can hear the past, we can recast it.
The revisions accumulate, invisibly, randomly layered in dimensions beyond plane and direction.
We can go now, let’s say, to the end point of each war.
We can see for ourselves the carnage morph into the bodies before they were shredded.
The dead man has all of his faculties, and can smell and hear those times of what is fondly called “yore.”
The dead man, like others, must live in it and squeak.
When the dead man advises poets to stop whining, they hear it wrong and thinks it means to stop drinking.
The dead man is able to hear through the static of wit and nostalgia.
He tried but failed to cut a break in the Moebius strip of experience.
He fell on his face trying to lean over the edge.
It was denial made the rain sound like wind.
It was denial caused the poison to be sprayed on the crops.
The dead man has too many examples at hand.
It was a cinch in the time of the piezo-electric crystal-controlled oscillator.
Now the dead man looks in vain for the infinitesimal relay in the printed circuit of a microchip made of water.
The dead man knows what is coming.
With pieces of oneself planted, manufactured and cloned, people will live what is called “forever.”
They will wonder what it was like to have been dead.

2. More About the Dead Man and the Zine

The dead man treasures the treasuries unburied and unlocked in the illusions of time.
For now the Electronic Poetry Review must shiver at the outskirts of sensibility.
It wobbles and flashes from the outpost of awareness.
It has turned sensibility inside-out, there it is.
The dead man is of many minds, always was, and has lived to employ them all at once.
That is the dead man nature of the sentence in the indeterminate.
That is the raison d’être of the will.
Let the dead man record the demise of free will in the chaos of so many choices.
Now we know it all, all the time.
The dead man was happy to be fewer in number.
Now he is more than alive as the many.
It was denial that left string theory at loose ends.
It was denial that could not see the unified in disunity, the quantum disguised as inertia.
It was eyes, it was the holding action that kept us too close.
Now, as zines populate the cyber world, the space remains endless.
The dead man pictures the Biggest Bang.
Imagine the imaginary type, the mathematics of a single black hole.
For it was always about the planet, never about us.
The dead man is at peace under the rocketry.
The pure pleasure of pixels lives on, nor all our piety nor wit can cancel the binary yes and no of the method.
The dead man is the essence of on and off, of now and later, of forever and not at all.
The dead man, at the end, turns a page.

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review