“He is Not” is at the heart of my order of things.
That’s about “the old man” who died in 2006 though it’s not about him in any particular sort of way, excepting perhaps the line:
He left the room without making a sound
Nobody noticed till the orderly made his rounds…
That is true and particular to the old man (though I am sure also to many others who die in those “homes”). For the rest it’s much more generic.
Somehow he just slipped out of time
Leaving only his remains behind
An odd assortment of odds and ends
Fingernails, toes, teeth and skin….
Those are pretty generally the remains of anybody. So the emphasis ends up being much more on the “not” and not on the “He.”
You can’t say that he moved on
Cause there’s no place for him to be gone
He didn’t fly high. He didn’t sink low
No, he didn’t have nowhere to go…
When one is no longer, one is NOT, and that’s that.
Oh time is a mighty tide
It carries us far it carries us wide
It is the beating heart of the stars…
If you can still see’em you still are.
We should occasionally remember that.
BUT HE’S NOT.
OH HE’S NOT
AIN’T NO X GONNA MARK THE SPOT WHERE HE’S NOT.
That last bit–ain’t no x–may, with its postmodern under erasure feel, be overly clever. But I still like it.