Dead Peasants
Howie Good


Those guns, man,
those guns!
Don't you hear
those guns?
I do not know
how this happened.
I can account
for it in no way.
Please help me up,
Henry. Max,
come over here.
The war is over
and I must go.


This isn't music. Stop it.
Don't weep for me. I am not sorry.
Nurse, it was I who discovered
that leeches have red blood.


May I please have a cigar?
I am going to the inevitable.
We are all going. . . We are all going.
Already my foot is in the stirrup.
Adios to the world! But the peasants --
how do the peasants die?


Shut up, you got a big mouth.
What do the public know about love?
We all get the same amount of ice.
The rich get it in the summer.
The poor get it in the winter.


Who is it?
Do not let the servants
come into the room
and keep away the youths.
This pain. This pain.
All my possessions
for a moment of time.


What I require is warmth.
Will it never come?
Turn up the lights,
I don't want to go home in the dark.


How grand these rays!
I fear not this fire.
Give the boys a holiday.
We shall do no more night marching.
It is all day now.


Let down the curtain,
the farce is over.
I have been everything,
and everything is nothing.
Never forget it --
decay is inherent in all things.
I'll tell that story
on the golden floor.


So little done, so much to do.
I wish I'd drunk more champagne.
I am dying. I haven't drunk
champagne for a long time.
Farewell, child of sorrow.
What we know is not much,
what we do not know is immense.


No. Thanks for everything.
I have seen the glories of the world.
Let us pass over the river
and rest under the shade of the trees.
I am tired. . . too tired.
It matters little how the head lies,
so the heart be right.

Note: Based on the last words attributed to Anaxagoras, Isaac Barrow, Jereboam O. Beauchamp, Max Beerbohm, Alexander Graham Bell, Billy the Kid, Judah Benjamin, Jeremy Bentham, Buddha, Miguel de Cervantes, Charles I, Anton Chekov, Nicolo Coviello, Baron Curvier, Leon Czolgosz, Elizabeth I, Raymond Fernandez, Marshall Field II, Archibald Forbes, John Ford, Simon Fraser, James A. Garfield, O. Henry, A.E. Housman, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, John Maynard Keynes, Pierre Laplace, Philip Larkin, Bat Masterson, William McKinley, Sophia Peabody, Francois Rabelais, Walter Raleigh, Egon Schiele, Dutch Schultz, Severus, Leo Tolstoy, Alexander von Humboldt, Sarah Wesley, George Wishart, Robert “Bob” Younger, and Joseph Zangara.