Only thing worse than dying once,
No doubt, is to get struck twice
By the mother of all muggers.
Once by bullet, once by ale;
Once by falling, once crushed.
On the other hand, you’ll get
Two funerals and two graves.
Side by side, perhaps. Here lies
Your name, who departed this life
On such an illegible date. And here lies
Your name, again, who split this life
On another illegible date. No more
Naked pigs feeding in a field for you,
No more cows merging in the mist.
by Linh Dinh
from I Haven’t Been Anywhere, Man by Linh Dinh (Landfill, 2007)
Copyright © Linh Dinh
Linh Dinh was born in Vietnam and lives in Philadelphia. In 2005 he was David T.K. Wong Fellow at the University of East Anglia. His poetry has featured in the Best American Poetry anthology.
I Haven’t Been Anywhere, Man is a sequence of poems written largely during the author’s year in East Anglia. This poem reflects Dinh’s interest in English gravestones with a characteristic mix of folk wisdom, colloquial speech, and unexpected imagery.
Landfill Press was founded in Norwich in 2004 as a publisher of contemporary poetic sequences.