Weekly Poem #68

Reflection Rejection

 

Somewhere down the line dancing got sadder

As the beats sped up we lost our grip on the ladder

And now we shiver back and forth, bitten by an adder.

We’re all twitching and itching like we’re on a full bladder.

I could be madder, but the rave has sucked shades

From my name and face and I can’t fervently fight the fade

Or fake a smile when my brain is stained with ingrained

Disdain and strain, it wanes, wilts until it spills

Out of my gills like the ink I didn’t mean to knock over with the quill.

I’m ill, I’m ailing and I can hear my innards complaining

A pain that was ordained by a diet of shame

Force fed to me by flashing lights and endless nights

That would even grip Marguerite Chopin too tight,

It’s a blight to indulge into these artificial delights

Until age bites and burns and shatters and spurns

As it finally takes its turn to help you learn.

You can lie through you mouth and eyes but not your bones

And goodness knows that entropy takes what it’s owed.

Time flows, grows and tiptoes up your spine

With designs to start making your climb

Ever higher hills that can’t be cured with booze and pills

Or any other cheap thrill that might flush your frills

Because you’ve had your fill, you’re done,

You’ve had your fun and now you’re searching for the sun

At the tip of a this final tongue, this real-life Logan’s Run

Have you won? Find out, peer over the precipice

And measure it as you gaze back on the line you stitched,

Did you pleasure it, leisure it? You better have treasured it

Because it was a mountain from the bottom, from the top it’s a pit.

Jump.

Life Update – The Trilogy

It’s certainly felt more recently like I have been giving this blog quite the personal touch that I used to. The bulk of my posting over the past several weeks has been poetry. This is due in some part to the fact that everything else I write ends up on Cultured Vultures, but it’s also because an awful lot has happened in the past few months. With that in mind, I’m going to separate this update into 3 parts, the first will cover all the social rigamarole that I had up until recently been dealing with, the second will be about more current, pertinent issues and the third will be about the direction everything’s headed in. If it seems like I’m being deliberately vague it’s because I’ll just end up trailing off with no real structure if I start talking about anything specific now, this is just an intro. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a lot of personal information, some of it fairly heavy will appear in this post, so fair warning on that.

Part 1: Social confounditude and the art of moving forward without growing up

Last time I posted any kind of life update it was the beginning of a new year and I largely using it to motivate myself into getting my shit together. I succeeded in so doing but it ended up feeling like a bit of a hollow victory because after ultimately finding a new job and moving to Birmingham, I felt distinctly socially constrained. The primary cause of this ill-feeling was my ex-girlfriend, Tara. That’s not to say she was willfully making me feel uncomfortable or unhappy, but the difficulty I had around her was the primary issue. We broke up in January in rather blurry and perplexing fashion and I didn’t see much of her after that until I reached Birmingham in early March. Up until then I’d been pretty much fine, the relationship had ended more abruptly than I’d have liked and I was perturbed that things hadn’t gone according to plan (one of life’s great ironies) but I hadn’t been overly miserable or lonely in the aftermath. As a matter of fact I was actually happy. Once I started spending time with her again though, issues began to crop up. At first she seemed overly eager to spend time with me, then I became unsettled by how intent she was on emphasizing how well she was doing, later still she started getting with other people in front of me and the like, whether or not it was intentional it wasn’t something I enjoyed seeing.

I couldn’t get my head around it, the breakup had made complete sense, in all honesty I hadn’t had that much faith in the relationship from the outset, we’d hooked up at a one-day music festival and beyond that all we ever did more or less was go to gigs and house parties, more often than not getting wasted in the process. It was nice socially but it had no long term traction and I never really saw a future in it. The final weeks of the relationship were torturous, it had become clear that things were either going to get more serious and that obviously freaked Tara out because she started behaving very abrasively, making snide, insulting remarks and poking holes in my self-esteem at every juncture. Eventually a very unpleasant phone call lead to what I interpreted as the end, but I found out about a week later when we went to dinner to talk things out that she’d thought we were still together. Of course that didn’t become clear until we’d already been talking for more than an hour. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken up with someone through them realising that you’d already abandoned the relationship, having thought you were trying to salvage it, but it ain’t pretty and I was intensely relieved to escape from that massacre with my composure intact.

With that in mind I should have been able to move on cleanly but I let my ego get the better of me, I felt like I was losing, we’d broken up sooner than I wanted and seeing her act the way she was acting felt like there was still some unfinished business, some animosity or uncertainty. I let it get the better of me. Don’t get me wrong there was definitely something going on, she was acting strangely and being around her threw me off balance, but I was letting that unbalancing haunt me, I was exaggerating it. What I see now is that you can convince yourself that your overreacting or over-thinking as much as you like but that won’t stop it from happening, you have to just bear with it and eventually it’ll fade. At the end of the day we just weren’t compatible, we needed different things, she’s 10 years my senior, trying to reach a position of stability and fulfillment and I’m just trying to build up life-experience and really grow into myself. Neither of us were benefiting from spending time together after the breakup and trying to force a friendship wasn’t helping, clearly neither one of us has figured out what we meant to the other yet, so I’m keeping my distance now and will probably continue to do so for some time, it’s too murky right now and I can’t switch that off. Maturity only really holds water as a concept when it happens by itself, no amount of contemplation can accelerate it, I realise that now.

Part 2: Picking up and Moving Forward After a Huge Change

All that stuff’s pretty trivial by comparison to the bigger picture stuff though, the issues with Tara preyed on my mind a lot and I did what I had to do to alleviate that, but like the sunscreen song says, the big issues are apt never to cross your worried mind, they blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. In this case it was actually about 1pm, but we’ll get to that in a second. As much as social exaggerations had dampened my arrival in Birmingham, things were going according to plan, I had a job at a DIY store that would support me until I got something better, I was making contacts to further my writing and I’d found a decent place to live. Everything leading up to my Masters in September seemed stable. Life doesn’t care a fig for stability. I was at work, busying my self with shelf stacking or some such when my manager came over and told me to drop everything immediately, at first I thought I was in trouble, right up until he told me that my father had suffered a stroke. That was 2 months ago and in the time that’s elapsed since then I’ve moved back home, resigned from my job and undertaken the role of looking after my house and family. My brother’s time is almost entirely occupied with college and my mother can’t drive owing to one too many severe diabetic incidents, so all the driving, shopping and pet care now falls to me. Since the stroke my Dad has gradually been regaining movement on the right side of his body, he’s made amazing progress, from barely being able to get out of bed or make himself understood he can now speak clearly, walk with only the most basic assistance and move the fingers on his right hand to some extent. He’s still in hospital and will be for some time, but that just means he’ll have more regular access to the intense physiotherapy that he needs at this critical stage.

I’ve learnt a great deal about strokes and the recovery process since all this started, it’s a very slow, laborious process which motivation and positivity are of paramount importance to. It would be very easy for someone in Dad’s position to just throw in the towel and fold beneath the crushing pressure of the misfortune that’s befallen him but he hasn’t allowed it do to that, he’s shown extraordinary resilience and I am so proud of him for that. He can be stubborn and complacent at times but he is always willing to work as hard as he possibly can to get better. From my point of view, it was initially difficult to accept that I would have to return home so soon after leaving but in the grand scheme of things it’s a minor setback, the beauty of writing as a skillset is that you can do it anywhere and building experience is a constant thing, you never stop writing. When something huge like this hits you, you can either let it overcome you or you can accept it and carry on, which is what we’ve all had to do. My Mum in particular has dealt extremely well with it, before this she was so overcome with depression that she barely got out of bed, now she’s up and active all-day every day, driven by an incredible motivation to help her husband get his life back, it sounds a strange thing to say that this has helped her in some ways but I’d say it has. We’ve all come out of the other side much stronger. It’s a strange feeling at age 23 to have the rest of your family genuinely depending on you, but when you really need to be strong it isn’t a choice, you just fucking get on with it.

Part 3: Motivation and Understanding

An interesting part of all this is that it’s put me in a position where I’ve really started reflecting on what I want out of life and why. I’ve been doing so much journalistic writing recently and I’ve really moved towards pinning down what it is about writing that I love. The journalistic stuff is great and I really enjoy it but true creativity, true expression and manifestation of imagination, that’s what I’m really working towards. The work I’ve done with Cultured Vultures has been really gratifying, it’s allowed me to really broadcast my work in ways that I never have before and it’s been great seeing the site grow, but most of my work for it has been appreciation of music, games and films and that’s only a sidebar for me. What I take real gratification from is when a poem I’ve written, a short story or whatever else is openly complimented by someone I don’t know, the times when a stranger has really expressed their appreciation for something that I’ve created out of thin air with no bias or agenda. It means that I’ve sent out a signal from the confines of my imagination, the thing that defines my comprehension of the world and it’s tapped into somebody else’s, even for a second. That’s just mind blowing, that’s the dream. You could write or paint or make music or dance for years and years and if just one person sees or hears that thing that you’ve brought into the world and has an emotional response to it, that’s so important, that’s indisputable evidence that you’ve made the world richer. I think that’s why I have such admiration for Ray Harryhausen, he could actually bring his imagination to life before our very eyes, I may not have the aptitude for modelling or animating that he did but if I can do that with my writing, I’ll feel fulfilled.

There’s more though, something else that recent experience has taught me is that if you give people the right opportunity, they’ll express themselves in ways that perhaps even they didn’t think themselves capable of, they’ll grow. I genuinely think that people are more intelligent than the society that we live in, which still tries to tell some people that they’re worthless, inadequate. Nobody, repeat, nobody is worthless or inadequate. Beyond my own creativity I’ve decided that I really want to help other people tap into theirs, perhaps more than they thought they could. Recently I’ve become extremely passionate about prison reform, both in America and here, since we’re headed down the same awful path more and more of late. If there’s one group of people who are mistreated by the outdated model of society that we live in, it’s prisoners. That’s not to suggest that they haven’t done anything wrong, most of them have, but that doesn’t invalidate them, they still have something to give, it’s just that most people would rather not regard them as a part of this world. I find that idea distasteful and wrong. That’s why I’m looking into doing outreach work in prisons when I have the time to commit to it and ultimately I aim to set up a program that enables inmates to learn and spend time doing creative writing, so long as they’re willing. It might seem like a strange goal but I cannot abide the idea that there are people in the world that society wants us to give up on, to forget. Everyone on this planet is walking around harboring the potential for things that extend beyond themselves and everyone deserves the chance to express that potential, we’re all in this together.

That’s all I got, I’ll expand on some of the last points in a longer article at some stage, but for now I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay excellent 🙂

Weekly Poem #60

Skins

 

I don’t want to be angry anymore,

I don’t want to feel like I need to stamp the floor.

I’ve wasted archives, tomes and trials on you

And for what? A cold, petrified, unrelenting tune.

A tune that vibrates through viable rations

And overtakes logic with impotent passion.

 

I don’t want to be vengeful anymore.

I don’t want the pain to take a walking tour.

One day I’ll laugh and say it all meant nothing

And I’m running at that day, longing to be touching

The barrier that holds me back from seeing truth;

The wall of forged emotions that imprison my youth.

 

I don’t want to think about you anymore,

You deserve to be a ghost, a shade across my door.

It takes a lot of whiskey to kiss a shit-eating grin

And every time I look back at you, the nausea creeps in.

I’m finished being fucked with, I have better things to do;

There’s an important life out there for me, eons away from you.

Weekly Poem #55

Rhyming Therapy

 

This connection is impossible, or so it seems.

To rebuild us something balanced and measured,

To enhance the old, withered themes.

At one time we had something that both of us treasured,

Something vibrant, potent, clean.

Now I can’t even serve at your shadow’s pleasures,

I can’t choke down your sad new schemes.

 

You claim to want to be my friend now

And leave our past lessons filed away

But your arrogance infects each mutual hour

And leaves me in a vexed, constricting pain.

So you budge your way through my walls and towers;

You infiltrate my days.

You think you have some prevailing power

But I just want you to go away.

 

There’s some lasting affection locked inside

That keeps me from cutting you off,

But each time you spit on my attempts to be kind

I grow colder, less open, less soft.

So carry on thinking that everything’s fine

If your logical thoughts are still blocked

And your bloated self-worth is still leaving you blind

But respect me enough to get lost.

 

Weekly Poem #53

Resin and Residue

Explain to me how a perfume from 1983
Is as new as it was in the first scene?
I’m fossilising daily but now I’m 17.
I’m a page torn free from a magazine,
Looking down on me from the mezzanine
And trying to place a common theme.
I’ve been lost since you were last seen,
Somewhere inside a tragic daily dream.
An old flame illuminates and gleams
A life that longs, lusts and screams.

Weekly Poem #52

Dance Dinosaur

 

The new world is weird and scary.

Scuttled with soft legged settlers,

Numbed, encumbered conquistadores

And marsh-mouthed mayflowers.

There’s no room in the clubs anymore,

Scene-stealers nestle into ever corner,

Throbbing to some corrupted belch

Of a shadow of a shade of an extinct joy.

I never thought I’d have to relent

For a seasoned hand on a turntable.

But now the table is a sterile cyborg

And the hand leads to a smirk and a shaved temple.

I don’t remember ever asking

For music to become filthy.

I don’t remember ever asking

For dancing to incur osteopathy.

I don’t remember ever asking

For my world to get blasted backwards

Into a dust filled chest in a museum archive.

So I sit, I sip my straight, uncorrupted whiskey

And I refuse, I protest the debasing of bass,

Shrinking into the ranks of the old,

Fading into the realm of the grumpy

And feeling all the wiser for it.

Fuck the new world.

Life Update 2014

I’m bringing the blogging world up to date on my life for two reasons: firstly to account for my recent relative inactivity on here (poetry aside) and also just because I want to. As far as the former is concerned, I’ve actually started doing a lot of writing work for a culture and media website, which you can find here, so most of my new work has been devoted to that. The bad news with that is that you’ll be seeing a lot less journalistic work on this blog, the good news is that I’ll have to get more creative with my output to account for the rift. So anyway, what’s been going on eh?

Last time I checked in, about six months ago, I was getting things ready for starting my creative writing masters in Birmingham, was in a new relationship and was still working at a nearby pub. Thankfully I quit my job at that particular establishment back in August (just in time as it would appear, they had a health inspection about 3 weeks after I left and got 1 star) but unfortunately the aforementioned relationship ended up being rather short-lived and the masters hasn’t worked out exactly as I had planned. Relationship first: I met Lauren in Cardiff after going there to visit friends following some time spent in B’ham scoping out my new uni, it started out as a one-night stand but we ended up seeing each other every day after that until I left for home, at which point we decided that it was too good of a thing to pass-up because of distance. In the end we didn’t even last 2 months, because of the distance. Maintaining a relationship with a 300 mile gap when you’re as busy as we both were just isn’t going to fly, but hey we gave it a shot. More disconcertingly, I ended up having to defer my masters until September 2014.

I am, admittedly, partially to blame for that. I’d saved a fairly substantial amount of money from my awful job and I had a lot lined up during the summer and I didn’t want to commit to a job in Birmingham too early and thereby hinder it. I was trying to have my cake and eat it. I’m not sure that I regret that, I had a fantastic summer, Italy, Boomtown, Shambala, Cornwall, all wonderful experiences well worth having. Following all that I actually managed to line up a trial shift and an interview but in the former I was just being used for a day’s cheap labor and in the latter I wasn’t told that it was a zero hour contract until moments before my first shift, which is pretty fucking underhanded but cie la vie. So what did I do then? Kinda kept on partying for a while, I went to a one-day electronic music festival in Bristol called Tokyo Dub, at which I first hooked up with Tara, who is now my girlfriend of two months and our converging tastes in music have taken us to numerous gigs all over London, so that’s eaten up a fair amount of my time. I also had the pleasure of attending an NFL game in Wembley, which was fantastic, I have a season ticket for next year (I also played fantasy football for the first time this season, ended up coming 5th of 10, next year shall be different). So in effect I basically extended my summer mischief into the autumn and winter, branched out with my writing some more and spent far too much money, so now I’m back into serious mode. I have 9 months to find a job, a room to rent and settle in a new city, I am more motivated, more pragmatic and have a lot more time. I’m taking this year very, very seriously. People say that every year and I’m no exception but with everything that’s been going on with my life, I can’t not start taking a more serious approach, I owe it myself, I owe to my family and I owe it to Tara, who has plenty on her plate at the moment too. I refuse to be a deadbeat boyfriend, a deadbeat son or just a deadbeat.

So that about covers it really, I have no plans to do any kind 2013 wrap-up as such, but in a nutshell:

Films:

Gravity

Pacific Rim

The World’s End

The Hobbit

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Stoker

 

Games:

Bioshock Infinite

The Last of Us

Papers, Please

DayZ

GTA V

Ni No Kuni

 

Albums:

The Mouse Outfit: Escape Music

Zomby: With Love

Congo Natty: Jungle Revolution

Atoms for Peace: Amok

R.A. The Rugged Man: Legends Never Die

Czarface: Czarface

Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks

Calibre: Still

Thundercat: Apocalypse

Machinedrum: Vapor City

Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest

FaltyDL: Hardcourage

 

HAPPY 2014! Especially for all us Year of the Horse compadres, let’s make it a good one, not going to get another for 12 more years.

 

Weekly Poem #44

Bright Lights

 

A bare foot quivers like folded paper

As it hovers above a thorny thicket.

The quilting thrums of the finger on the microphone

Weave through sound barriers and arrive as distant gunfire.

He stands, frozen at the precipice and waits for an introduction.

A spotlight, a drum-roll, fireworks and sirens.

Charlie’s cane falls heavily to hand, weighed down by golden rounds

And the pork-pie hat is stifling, not much to be said for the new design,

Lacking for a brim, hued in green and shaped from harsh metal.

He’s watched other stars rush onstage and perform the dance.

The riddled, writhing Charleston of prat falls and shrapnel

Before giving in to the madness and corpsing at the end.

He feels the dry ice rise and choke him, hears the drum-roll call for him

And sees the spotlights search for him.

Showtime.

 

Weekly Poem #43

The Savage

 

I’m the fiend of the north, a blight on the south

And I lurk in dark corners with gum in my mouth.

I’m the crow that is hooded and perching for pray,

I’m the rat that takes pleasure in spreading the plague.

 

Beware my slumped stature and factory-fresh frame,

My nadsat expressions, the drencrom in my brain.

Don’t be caught unawares by my nonchalant stillness,

I’ll cut out your heart and use my iPhone to film it.

 

I’m the violence of infants, the passion of youth

And the target for all of my hatred is you.

Every time that I loiter in your field of vision

I’m eying your limbs and plotting division.

 

We are hopeless and helpless from hoodie to yob.

We’re voracious consumers with no want for a job.

If the youth are these monsters, as the papers believe,

Then we’re in for a very dark future indeed.

While It’s Fresh in My Mind: Six Feet Under (Spoilers)

This is another post that I’ve been putting off for a little while just to let everything sink in, but rest assured since I finished watching it over the weekend Six Feet Under has never ceased to be fresh in my mind. Out of all the television shows I’ve watched end to end whether actively or retrospectively there are now three principal five season juggernauts that stand above the rest. These are The Wire, Breaking Bad and now Six Feet Under. The former two appeal to me in a very direct, somewhat obvious way that adheres to my passion for writing as a means of world building, a means of potent, absorbent creativity that grasps a viewer’s imagination in a way that nothing can nullify. Six Feet Under holds this appeal for me too, but it goes a different route. The way I regard most storytelling is as a window into this other world, I try to maintain a certain detachment despite how emotionally involved I might become, Six Feet Under countered that early and often. I was certainly enthusiastic about it on a professional level and appreciated everything I had to learn from it, but it also forced me to confront things that lurked in the deep recess of my mind and I defy anyone to watch it without going to those same places. That’s really what gives the show such an edge. It’s about death and there isn’t a single person on Earth who can’t connect with that.

I don’t feel any need to set up the premise or outline the plot before talking about it because if you’re reading this post and you haven’t seen Six Feet Under you have absolutely no excuse. This is essential storytelling and it deserves a place in your life. Death often terrifies me, I think about it all the time as I imagine many people do, but of course in markedly different ways. Since entering my twenties I have been imbued with a deep and unfortunate paranoia that infests my mental processing on a daily basis and a given part of that is a constant awareness of the fragility of mortality and a crippling hypochondria. Every headache, bout of sweating, stiff neck and feeling of dizziness I might feel spirals into a maelstrom of ways I might have just felt the onset of an untimely death. It’s a fairly ridiculous notion of course, I’m 23, I’m relatively healthy and the only hereditary ailment in my family likely to take hold at this age is diabetes. My history with depression (both my mother’s and my own, to say nothing of several other family members and close friends) has also thrown those thoughts around my head many times. As such, Six Feet Under was a difficult watch for me at first because I usually try my utmost to keep those sorts of thoughts contained and it was almost as if this show was forcing it all out into the open, but the way it deals with it once it’s in the open air is complete and so conscious that it places the show headlong into the realms of dramatic masterwork.

I love the fact that Nathaniel Fischer officially doesn’t make it past episode one, yet he is present for the bulk of the series. Six Feet Under doesn’t kill characters off, it just places them in a new perspective. Even beyond all the openness and the bravery boasted by the show’s approach, it still creates a world akin to any other monolithic work of fiction, characters so tragic and funny and lost that you can’t help but see yourself in them. For me I found Nate to be the easiest to relate to, perhaps because I’m the oldest sibling of my family, perhaps because I’ve had trouble accepting who I am but reasoning aside I just felt a certain urge to see him reach a place where he was content, which of course he did, finally, in death. That might sound like a misreading considering the way he jilted Brenda moments before he died but he was on a self-destructive path and leaving his life behind was perhaps the only way to save it, as tragic a thought as that might be. My favourite character though, that’s gotta be Ruth. Even typing that was difficult because there were numerous, numerous times throughout the series when she infuriated me, when she used people, when she imprinted her own values on others or tried to gain her own validation through them and berated them when life didn’t adhere to her grand plan. Some of the things she did in relation to Hiram, Arthur, George and especially Claire were borderline unforgivable but I loved her all the same, she was so flawed, so damaged and so human that I felt a tangible connection to her that I couldn’t shake and the ending her character was given was so perfect. Six Feet Under represents the human soul laid bare and anyone even a little like me will experience a pantheon of emotional responses from start to end, from frustration to captivation to shock to unbearable sadness. Strange then that on many levels it’s such a flawed show.

The Wire and Breaking Bad will always have that over Six Feet Under, they’re more consistent, more technically accomplished and more considered. Six Feet Under suffers from various issues season-to-season including repetition of themes, imbalance of perspective and worst of all slipping into mediocrity on several occasions (season 3, retrospectively an excruciating build up to a crushingly tragic irony, ended up being the worst offender for taking so long to get anything going). The thing is though, Six Feet Under is so emotionally driven that I can’t condemn it for that, I flat out refuse to. The other two are symphonic and Six Feet Under is a pure, ugly, beautiful piece of expression, unrefined perhaps but so much more potent for it. You find yourself remembering great books, films, albums and shows in vastly differing ways and Six Feet Under for me is almost like a montage or a photo journal of gloriously poignant moments. Nate’s discovery of his father’s secret room above an Indian restaurant, David coming out to Ruth, Billy’s desperate assault on Brenda, Ruth’s journey into wonderland after an accidental ecstasy hit, Nate’s uncomfortable dinner appearance owing to the same mistake, his tearful admission of his life-threatening ailment to David, the car jacking episode, the paintball game, Claire’s rendition of You Light Up My Life reworked to be about panty-hose, Nate burying Lisa, the scattering of Brenda’s father’s ashes, Jimmy blundering into a dinner party half naked and rambling about wanting to film ‘something tart’ while tripping on a potent MDMA counterpart, Nate’s ill-fated birthday party and of course the numerous cold-openings. The idea to start every episode with a death was a stroke of genius and it’s used to great and varied effect, some of my standouts include a wife so jaded with her husband’s bellyaching that she slams him upside the head with a frying pan, the unfortunate janitor who gets minced by a large dough mixer, the beautifully tragic death of a gay man in his lover’s arms at a social gathering, the woman who mistakes a flock of ascending sex-dolls for the rapture only to be blindsided by a car as she runs out into the road and of course the woman who by a ridiculous bout of happenstance ends up getting squashed by a block of blue ice that fell from an airliner. The show really did examine death from every angle and nowhere is that more evident than in the wonderful ending. I re-watched the final scene in preparation for writing this and none of the effect it had on me the first time was lost, I cried buckets. The fleeting yet powerful glimpse into the future of the characters, fittingly framed around their eventual deaths struck the absolute perfect chord and it gets to me in a way no show ever had before. It’s an appreciation of the beauty of death as much as the finality of it, David sees Keith one final time and keels over whilst submerged in complete contentedness, Brenda fittingly drops off while her brother sits in front of her rambling about emotional closure, Rico dies in the midst of a more luxurious, charmed life that he’s built for his family, Keith is the victim of brutal misfortune, Ruth peacefully transitions between the love of the living and the love of the dead and Claire expires at home alone surrounded by memory. It’s a stunning sequence and the ending the show deserved from minute one. Six Feet Under is a masterpiece of storytelling as much as it is an examination of mortality, love and humanity at large. My subconscious is eternally grateful for having been exposed to it.

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