Adrian Henri

(10 April 1932 - 20 December 2000 / Birkenhead, Cheshire)

Adrian Henri's Last Will And Testament - Poem by Adrian Henri

`No one owns life, but anyone who can pick up a Fryingpan owns death.'
William Burroughs

To whom it may concern:
As my imminent death is hourly expected these days/ carbrakes screaming on East Lancs tarmac/trapped in the blazing cinema/mutely screaming I TOLD YOU SO from melting eyeballs as the whitehot fireball dissolves the Cathedral/being the first human being to die of a hangover/ dying of over­emotion after seeing 20 schoolgirls waiting at a zebracrossing.

I appoint Messrs Bakunin and Kropotkin my executors and make the following provisions:

1. I leave my priceless collections of Victorian Oil Lamps, photographs of Hayley Mills, brass fenders and Charlie Mingus records to all Liverpool poets under 2 3 who are also blues singers and failed sociology students.

2. I leave the entire East Lancs Road with all its landscapes to the British people.

3. I hereby appoint Wm. Burroughs my literary executor, instructing him to cut up my collected works and distribute them through the public lavatories of the world.

4. Proceeds from the sale of relics: locks of hair, pieces of floorboards I have stood on, fragments of bone flesh teeth bits of old underwear etc. to be given to my widow.

5. I leave my paintings to the Nation with the stipulation that they must be exhibited in Public Houses, Chip Shops, Coffee Bars and the Cellar Clubs throughout the country.

6. Proceeds from the sale of my other effects to be divided equally amongst the 20 most beautiful schoolgirls in England (these to be chosen after due deliberation and exhaustive tests by an informal committee of my friends).

Adrian Henri
Jan. ‘64
Witnessed this day by:
James Ensor
Charlie `Bird' Parker.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 16, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, May 16, 2011

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