Natural Causes

Then Lil Wayne says that just centimeters from his rhyme-busting heart
are two bullet shards too close to surgically remove,
and before I can pluck the shot-rapper-pathos-cliché ajar
  
he adds "It's ok, I'll be fine…unless I move
into a magnetic field!" Which automatically renders Lil Wayne,
tattoo tears and diamond teeth—in a magnetic field—screaming his reverb grooves
  
in an orb of Magneto-like energy blasts, vomiting over in pain.
And I'm wondering if I'm a bit too morbid
or if this is another Harvey Pekar thumbnail that my cranium
  
juices sweeten on, but then I remember asking Brian this summer mid
spatula flop how he'd like to die. With a perfect burger turn he said he'd drown.
I couldn't speak for a few moments, entangled with his death squid,
  
drowning in his choice to drown, uh-oh, can't swim, this guy, going down,
so I sat there silly, putting on a face for which they'd award an Oscar to Meryl Streep.
Inevitably he asked me how I'd prefer to be taken down,
  
and I said, "natural causes," neither creative nor realistic, so we drank knee-deep
in PBR, listened to the squirrels bark at one another from the roofs of the bungalows.
Is it morbid that I can't help but think of Lil Wayne—with that middle-airplane-seat
  
of a ticker, boxed out by that bullet shard's bolo,
like bullies at each end of the hallway heart, or better yet, like a poster
inside that hall's classroom of the moons of Mars—Deimos and Phobos,
wild stallions of the asteroid belt galloping free in the solar system's pasture
until Mars' gravitational field tracer beamed them in—see the thing is Mars
pulls so hard on Phobos it rises and sets twice a day, an overanxious double daysleeper,
  
so hard it will kablooie into Mars 100 million years from now, a jagged hard mason jar
full of nickel, burning a blast radius birthmark onto Olympus Mons,
and Lil Wayne is just rapping all over the place like a crossover popstar
  
even though inside his ribcage there is a mini-microcosm
death diorama replica of the fourth planet from the sun; walking each day on Earth
solemnly aware he must never encounter a blast of comic book radiation gamma spasms,
  
which is a pretty consciously morbid event horizon to deter.
I don't want to live to avoid death, to hopscotch invisible doom like Lil Wayne,
praying to avoid some sort of space age cataclysmic cosmic ray stillbirth
  
that would cause his expensive choppers to drop like a piñata biplane,
his dreads to shed like floundering pool noodles on the lawn,
a death that would warrant the shatter-star solar flares of his $300,000 chain.
  
No, I prefer to die like Mars, mid-yawn,
a universal, celestial, drawn out yawn so huge that everyone gets a case of the yawns,
a mega-cosmic-massive-intake-no-leftover-super-spawn-yawn
  
whereupon the gravity of my lungs yawns
the earth into me for one last lazy shebang, the dawn of a new yawn, so good, that yawn,
it will eke out a tear.
Whoa Yeah Baby
Dave Landsberger
Landsberger_cover

Whoa Yeah Baby

Dave Landsberger

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf