scarecrow poetics/essays

Monday, January 16, 2006



when I die

burn me up and smear the ashes
over the shadow drenched alleyways,
scoring spots, whore-parades
and blinking neon motel rooms
of the inner city wilderness

when I die

give me a loving bullet in the head
or a suicidal razors slash
or accidental oblivion
in the barrel of a syringe

let my daughter remember me
as I am: terribly alive
burning and screaming with the beauty
of it all

still digging for a way out
of my prison of weakling flesh
and cracking bone

let me trade off those extra years
to save her from some
etched image of me
betrayed by my own tenacity:

when I die

don’t remember me as some
old, complacent pot-bellied fuck
drooling and nodded out
in front of a wall of television static

Tony O'Neill © 2006.

In a previous life Tony O’Neill played keyboards for bands and artists as diverse as Kenickie, Marc Almond and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. After moving to Los Angeles his promising career was derailed by heroin addiction, quickie marriages and crack abuse. While kicking methadone he started writing about his experiences on the periphery of the Hollywood Dream and he has been writing ever since. His autobiographical novel DIGGING THE VEIN will be published in Feb 2006 by Contemporary Press, in the US and Canada. Wrecking Ball Press plan to release a UK edition Summer 2006. He lives in New York where he works a variety of odd jobs and writes.

More details can be found at


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