Join (free) | Login 

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Betty Jo Tucker, iDenise Richardson, iGrant Dickinson, iRandy Richardson, iBino Pires, iBryon Smith, iAntoine Raphael, i
  Home > Family > Stories
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Sam Vaknin

· Become a Fan
  Notify me of new titles
  added by this author.

· 433 titles
· 112 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jul, 2000

   Contact Author
   Message Board
   Read Reviews

· FREE A Critique of Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-first Century [

· FREE DOWNLOAD The Death of Sex and the Demise of Monogamy

· FREE DOWNLOAD Short Fiction About Narcissism And Mental Health

· FREE DOWNLOAD Speculations and Physics

· FREE DOWNLOAD Essays on God and Freud

· FREE DOWNLOAD Macedonia: A Nation at a Crossroads

· FREE DOWNLOAD Healthcare Reform Checklist

· FREE DOWNLOAD The Facts and Fictions of the Securities Industry

· FREE DOWNLOAD Abuse, Trauma, and Torture - Their Consequences and Effects

· FREE DOWNLOAD From Alexander to Obama Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders

Short Stories
· Nedís Short Life

· Sexsomnia

· Fugue

· The Galatea of Cotard

· Live Burial

· Lucid Dreams

· A Dream Come True

· Anton's Trap

· The Elephant's Call

· Night Terror

· The Eurozone's Greek Future

· Live and Let Die: The West's Perennial Error of Picking Sides

· The Holocaust Revisited

· The Situational Codependent: Codependence as Reaction to Life Crises

· Israel in 2025

· 10 Predictions for the Coming Decade

· Narcissistic Cops: Police Brutality Explained?

· Spite and Envy: Passive-Aggressive Narcissists

· Nationalism vs. Patriotism: Narcissism vs. Self-love

· Pears Cyclopaedia 2014-5 Edition: Human Knowledge Encapsulated

· Her Birthday

· Hebrew Love

· My Putrid Lover

· Twinkle Star

· Synthetic Joy

· Our Love Alivid

· The Miracle of the Kisses

· Selfdream

· In Moist Propinquity

· A Hundred Children

         More poetry...
· FREE E-BOOK Abuse, Trauma, and Torture - Their Consequences and Effects

· FREE E-BOOK Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders

· FREE EBOOK The Hitler File (Excerpts)

· NEW eBOOK Excerpts from the Archives and Case Studies

· EIGHTH EDITION - Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited

· NEW BOOK - After the Rain - How the West Lost the East

· NEW EBOOK Personality Disorders Revisited

Sam Vaknin, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Death of the Poet
By Sam Vaknin
Posted: Friday, July 02, 2004
Last edited: Friday, July 02, 2004
This short story was "not rated" by the Author.

Share this with your friends on FaceBook
Share    Print   Save   Become a Fan
Recent stories by Sam Vaknin
· Nedís Short Life
· Sexsomnia
· Fugue
· The Galatea of Cotard
· Live Burial
· Lucid Dreams
· A Dream Come True
           >> View all 32
Five minutes prior to his death, he made use of a stained rotary dial phone, its duct-taped parts precariously clinging to each other. His speech was slurred but his interlocutor - a fan - thought it nothing extraordinary.

Written by Sam Vaknin

The poet succumbed at eight o'clock AM.

Five minutes prior to his death, he made use of a stained rotary dial phone, its duct-taped parts precariously clinging to each other. His speech was slurred but his interlocutor - a fan - thought it nothing extraordinary.

Sighing ostentatiously, she reluctantly agreed to come to him, volubly replacing her receiver in its cradle.

She was not surprised to be met by others he had called, nor was she astounded to learn that he had died all by himself, wrapped in two dusty khaki blankets, sprawled on a tattered mattress, flung on an iron frame that served as both bed and escritoire. It was so like him, to die like that.

Removing the rigored cadaver through the narrow doorway was tricky. The medics rolled it down the claustrophobic and penumbral staircase (there was no lift). His ink-tainted right hand kept striking the peeling yarns of greenery that hung, flayed, from crumbling concrete walls.

Panting, they laid him on the bottom stair, an outsized embryo with jet black hair and eagled nose. His nostrils quivered.

The radio reported his passing and lengthy obituaries adorned tomorrow's press. The critics cloaked with affected objectivity the overpowering disdain they held the man, his lifestyle, and his work in. They claimed to have been his closest friends and recounted some futile anecdotes.

The ceremony held by the municipality in the Writers Hall was open to the public.

I said to Nomi:

"Why don't you approach the organizers? Tell them that you have composed music to some of his poems and that you are willing to perform them.'

They were thrilled and Nomi settled on two songs - one that I liked and one that was her preference. She had a fortnight to rehearse them ceaselessly.

Then Dani phoned me. Years ago, still adolescent, he costarred with the poet in a television show. They spent the night discoursing, which rendered them inseparable thereafter, the apprentice and his mentor. Because Dani is what he is - he turned into the poet's fan. And because he is what he is - he abruptly brought it to a halt. They never met again. Dani never thinks of himself in terms of extremism but his relationship with the dead poet was such.

And now he enquired:

"You heard? He is dead."

But he did not pause for a response. He went on to recount the by now familiar story of how they met, and how he admired the poet's ingenuity, inventiveness, aplomb, the love he made to the Hebrew language. And how it was all over.

"I am not attending this fallacious wake." - Dani is soft-spoken even when his words are not.

That evening, Nomi and I went to the Writers' Hall. A woman with anorectic eyes compared our invitation to a clammy list. We slumped into some wooden deck chairs, attired steamily in our discomfiture. People climbed onto a squeaky stage and then retreated, having recited the poet's work in a post-mortem elocution. They argued with venomous scholarship some fine points.

The poet's raisiny and birdlike mother was all aflutter in the front raw, flanked by the agitated organizers. She flung herself at the poet's ex spouse and at her son, protesting creakily and waving a hefty purse:

"Away with you!" - she screamed - "You killed my boy!"

The divorcee approached, her black dress rustling, hand soothingly extended, but midway changed her mind and climbed the podium.

She promised anodynely to preserve the poet's heritage by issuing a definitive edition of his writings, both published and in manuscript. Her voice was steady, her gestures assured, her son clung to her dress eyeing us and the scenery indifferently. He dismounted as he climbed, obediently and unaffectedly.

On cue, Nomi sang two bits, her voice a luscious blond. She looked so lonesome onstage, a battered playback cassette-recorder, a wireless microphone, her quaking palms. When the last note died I discovered that I am not breathing and that I turned her notepad into pulp.

On her odyssey from stage to seat, Nomi glanced coyly at the poet's still roiled mother, who hastened to hug and compliment her warmly.

The night was over and the mob dispersed.

The poet's mother stood forlorn, tugging at the impatient sleeves of the departing as she demanded: "How shall I get back?" - but she wouldn't say whereto. Roundly ignored by the pulsating throngs of well-wishers, she watched them comparing impressions, exchanging phone numbers, mourning the poet and, through his agency, themselves.

"I knew your son" - I said.

I really did - perhaps not as intimately as a friend, but probably more than did most of those present. Once I visited that warehouse of weathered books he called his home, sat on his monkish bed, played the effaced keys of his battered typewriter.

I offered her a ride and she accepted, sighing with childish relief.

Nomi drove and I listened to the poet's mother. Like him she wept in words.

"He used to visit me every week" - with pride. Invited us for a drink in her room at the seniors' home. The evening chilled, she observed. How about a warm libation ("I have even hot chocolate"). When we declined politely, she tempted us with exclusive access to letters the poet wrote to her.

We took a rain check and made a heartening spectacle out of noting down her address and her phone number.

The night guard at the entrance, besieged by a polished wooden counter and facing banks of noiseless television screens, winked at us.

"Thank you for bringing her back. A wonderful woman but lousy kids. No one ever visits."

He turned to face the poet's mother, raising his voice unnecessarily:

"And how are you tonight?"

Ignoring him, she eyed us inquisitively:

"You have children? No? What are you waiting for?" - her shriveled finger spiraling - "Make a few children and hurry about it. Believe me, nothing in life is more important. Nothing if not ..."

The swooshing elevator doors, an amputated sentence, and she was gone.

At home, we lay on our backs, each in its corner of our bed, trying to pierce the darkness blindly.

We never mentioned that evening, neither have we returned to visit the poet's mother. We came close to doing so, though. One Saturday we mutely decided to climb the hill and drop by the seniors' home. Instead, we ventured further, to Jaffa, and bought Sambusak pastry, filled with boiled eggs and acrid cheese.

Side by side we lived, my Nomi and I.

And then she divorced me and so many things transpired that the poet and his mother and this story were all but forgotten.

Author Bio

Sam Vaknin ( ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.

Web Site: The Suffering of Being Kafka  

Reader Reviews for "Death of the Poet"

Want to review or comment on this short story?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Membership?
Click here to Join!

Reviewed by J. Roseline 3/24/2014
Very good work, some powerful lines.
The flow is lucid .. mature stuff. thank you for this.JKR
Reviewed by Charles O'Connor III 10/7/2007
Great write. I loved how you immediately caught my attention and the over all flow and effect of the story was perfect. Good Job.

Charles D. O'Connor III
Reviewed by Manes Pierre, Ph.D. 8/4/2005
Nice write! Very moving! The story felt real as each of the characters appeared to be lively in spite of the sadness of the departing poet.

Keep up the good job!

Manes Pierre

Books by
Sam Vaknin

Free Download - Narcissism Book of Quotes

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

FREE DOWNLOAD Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited EXCERPTS

Buy Options
Barnes & Noble, more..

The Narcissism Series

Excerpts from the Archives of the Narcissism List

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

The World of the Narcissist

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited (e-Book)

Buy Options
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..

Diary of a Narcissist

Buy Options
Amazon, more..

Family Stories
1. A Tomorow-Mother to Daughter-Adrienanne's
3. The Stolen Car
4. What makes the good old days the good old
6. An Update: Rachel And Kendall Smith, April
7. God's Cake
8. Peetah.
9. Balls
10. He Said, She Said
11. Doorway...
12. Quality Time
13. Family Affair: Fun At The State Fair!!
14. Mayday, Mayday, Mayday (excerpt)
16. My Granny
17. Surf Mama
18. 'It.'
19. Marina Hope's Story. (Part Three)
20. Mary Rose and the Frog

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.