Michael Philips

Last Will - Poem by Michael Philips

I’m giving all my Colombo videos to the library,
I don’t know if they want them,
Perhaps curious folks with time
Will check them out and get hooked,
I’m also giving the library all the CDs I don’t like that much,
I hope the staff doesn’t make off with them
But I don’t care,
Almost all my books,
Some I’ve had since I was little,
My clothes, my cameras, most of my art goes to

I’ve contemplated leaving things for my legacy,
I know that who I am is more than my possessions,
But my stuff speaks for me.
Still, my kids don’t need to be burdened with all this crap.
I call it crap to make you think I don’t attach significance to it.
But in reality, I love these inanimate things with passion.

I picture people going through my things after I’m dead,
What do I want them to find?

My kids can have my remaining CDs and books (the good ones)
All the old LPs
Even if they don’t want them,
Shouldn’t be too hard to unload somewhere,
There’s something poetic about making them pack up
And haul away all these traces of me
Dispersing me like ashes flung to the winds,
Some of those old rock ‘n roll albums probably should become ashes.

Maybe I’ll give everything away before I die,
There’s also something poetic about leaving without a trace,
If you’re devout about life you should be devout about death,
Now I’m like an old priest
Seeing everything through the distorted lens of grace,
I have dear connections and associations,
Hardly utilitarian, like holding a spider’s web on a windy day,
I have no use for other people’s legacies,
Why should they care about mine.

I wish I could come back in 90 years to see what remains of me.
A framed picture on some unknown great grandchild’s wall.
A contrived poem found in an attic and tossed out.

Comments about Last Will by Michael Philips

  • (8/17/2005 3:41:00 PM)

    You know, there's something about laughing at so serious a comment and about not taking oneself so seriously. Your line about 'crap' is a classic. And I'm still smiling about your kids having to go through your things and haul them off as being 'poetic.' My heart breaks at what will be left of you in ninety years. Then I read Michael Shepherd's comment about your poem and begin to laugh again. This is good stuff, Michael. And there is such a grain of truth throughout. Thanks.

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  • (2/15/2005 9:05:00 AM)

    You handle this subject well, and there is a brutal honesty that makes one flinch.
    well done.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/23/2005 3:01:00 PM)

    So true it hurts. Which makes it hurt less.. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: poem, people, passion, hope, death, wind

Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 9, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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