Response to Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain”

I would like to believe

That if I was amidst

A bank robbery,

I would not choose

That moment

To be sarcastic.



I know we are writing


But that was a character

That as I was reading

Made me want to scream.


There was no point, really

To his aggression

Or lack of chivalry.

We’ve all been annoyed by

Those in front of us in line

But his quips were

Trite and unnecessary.

Do I think he deserved to die because of that?

Of course not.

But did I feel remorse?


He was character that did

At first

Get my interest piqued,

But slowly lost my compassion

When he became nasty.


I guess a bullet

Flying through your brain

Can make one go crazy.

But why a dog a chain

And a baseball field

And “they is”

Were your repeated last refrain?

Constant flicker of last frames of


He completely pushed aside thoughts of family.

Yet not the girl to whom he lost his virginity.

Ah…selective memory….



I’m trying to make sense

Of the “mock tragedy”

But no emotion feels


Yet rash.

Nothing feels reasonable enough

That would make me accept his situation logically.


But maybe that’s the beauty of it;

That in death we cannot be bothered to think logically.

And we are rash and all too feeling beings.

Holding onto our loved ones’ last words

Instead of replaying images of their fragility.

Maybe nothing makes sense,

‘Til a bullet shakes your brain

And all you can count on

Is lost and buried memories,

Rather than those who never really mattered,

But simply existed;

Placeholders in your life

That you associate with emotion

Rather than face.


Love is lost on those who made your heart

Skip a beat

Rather than settle into a comforting rhythm.

Stay up at night for those ones,

So that when the end does come…

Fall into that final, eternal sleep

Listening to a sweet and familiar melody

Rather than the clashing of short-lived ecstasy

And the shattering of fragmented metal

through your cerebellum.


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