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The Author Is Dead

Juliano Zaffino - The Author Is Dead - Blog

Suffocating Antigone

Juliano Zaffino

Note: 'Suffocating Antigone' is one of many poems written to accompany 'I'm Supposed To Be Having The Time Of My Life'.

- Suffocating Antigone -

I’m thinking about suffocating a lot lately –
Mostly because of Antigone, but also
Just a little bit because I’m morbid, like in a very
Real and very matter-of-fact way;
Although perhaps morbid isn’t quite
The right word, because what I am is not
Obsessed with death as much as I am
With endings, with apocalypses,
And lately I wonder to myself
What I will do if the world ends
In burial – but I know I’ve been reading
Antigone too often, thinking about it
Too often lately. And it’s mostly because
I’ve been thinking about her, “caught
In an act of perfect piety”, and of course
I’ve thought about that grand perfection,
The doubleness of her goodness, and then
I go back to my research, and I flick
Through Twitter, and I avoid the Charlottesville
Hashtag as though my life depended on it.
I’ve read a thousand books in the name
Of knowledge and I don’t know what to do.
I am afraid for children I have not yet birthed.
I lack the kind of capacity that allows one
To be made full and thus to be weighted,
To be anchored. I am afraid I will drift away
And wash ashore in Charlottesville with
Nothing but Hamlet in one hand
And a match in the other. What will I do?
I am afraid that – after – I will be brought before
A grand jury, each topped with toffee toupees,
Who will mutter ‘sad’ and ‘bad’ and
‘Other side’ and ‘he must be mad’,
Who will sentence me to an eternity
Underground, the only punishment that
Fits the crime of bringing hellfire to the humans.
I am afraid that when the time truly comes
My final breath will be wasted telling no one:
“I was caught in an act of perfect piety.”