JACOB OTTING


IN THE INTEREST OF TIME, WHICH IS ONE OF MY INTERESTS

if memory serves I never had no family

to speak of family where there is none

to say nothing of family where there is one

an undead memory serves to remind me

of the family

I’m fond of telling myself

I never had

my grandmother used to say the only good family

is a dead family

or something

she’s so dead

it’s not even funny

I’m just an in-law at a wedding

on the brideside

on my mom’s side

on my dad’s badside

I’m out of here

the other day my uncle was remembering me

to of all mothers my mother

which mother says I should stop kidding myself

about whatever I have left and enjoy it

while it lasts, which it won’t

will it last, no it won’t

at family reunions we get separated

into piles

living and dead

more or less

the life of the party passes

from person to person

until party’s end

but the party never ends

I suppose mom finds it funny

to send her late husband across the room

with drinks for her dead sons

of course a family reunion isn’t

all fun and games

when it comes time to eat

she stipulates that the dead

of all ages sit at the kids’ table

for the older dead this can be somewhat humiliating

knees squeezed under the table

veering topics of conversation

and so much spilt milk

but for me I find

being so young

and being so dead

being my mother’s young dead son

to be dead and yet so young

this is really what it means to be alive
 
 
 
 



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