David Rakoff — Love Dishonor Marry Die Cherish Perish

From David Rakoff's final book, written while dying of cancer. A novel in rhyming couplets spanning the 20th Century:
He'd loved Touch of Evil, when la Dietrich tells
The fortune of corpulent, vile Orson Welles:
"Your future's all used up." So funny and grim.
But now that the same could be spoken of him
It was sadness that gripped him, far more than the fear
That, in facing the truth, he had maybe a year.

When poetic phrases like "eyes, look your last"
Become true, all you want is to stay, to hold fast.
A new, fierce attachment to all of this world
Now pierced him, it stabbed like a deity-hurled
Lightning bolt lancing him, sent from above,
Left him giddy and tearful. It felt like young love.
He'd thought of himself as uniquely proficient
At seeing, but now that sense felt insufficient.
He wanted to grab, to possess, to devour
To eat with his eyes, how he needed that power.

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