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If You Were To Die Right Now, Johnny Depp

Derek Pollard

People would begin subscribing to The Christian Science Monitor
And wearing nothing but white after Labor Day
Teenage copyboys would begin preening in front of bathroom mirrors
And even the Joneses would start balling on their front lawn

      Johnny Depp, if you were to die right now, my God, what would Juliette Binoche say?
Everywhere you looked, straight men would be reciting Wilde and Morrissey
Phyllis Diller’s hair would be enshrined at Madame Tussaud’s
And they’d pour Harvey Wallbangers for every comer
In Flint, there would be another heart attack at a back booth in Angelo’s Coney Island
While the Amazon would run clear as alka seltzer
Snow would fall in Timbuktu
And you could get The Collected Books of Jack Spicer at any corner bookstore

      Johnny Depp, if you were to die right now everything would become like South Dakota
Even River Phoenix would become less dear

      Don’t die, Johnny Depp
The kids of Amberly Elementary would miss you too much
And there’d be nothing doing in spinning the merry–go–round

      If you were to die right now, Johnny Depp, the world would be turned upside down
The Cubs would win the World Series this October
Salt Lake City would elect a gay, Black, Evangelical, woman mayor
Ishtar would be voted the greatest film of all time
Anatole France would be considered a part of Northern Italy
And when someone said cocksucker it’d be a real compliment

      If I could be with you when you died, Johnny Depp, I might feel as though all
Of our troubles did amount to more than a hill of beans
I would paint all the houses along Den Adel whatever color you wanted them to be
I would turn out Lloyd Carr from the city of Ann Arbor
I would eat a whole jar of pickled jalapenos and wear my hair in pigtails
I would vote Michael Stipe for President
I would actually read Of Grammatology and not laugh at Andrew Dice Clay
I would listen to all of Bartok in one sitting
I would not pretend to be sleeping when the next Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked at my door
I would put the word traverse in my next poem when I meant to go from here to there
I would give away every book I owned
And buy one last pack of cigarettes for Muriel for safekeeping

Derek Pollard

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Author Discusses Poems