Thoughts On A Dead Man

He was a man, as any can be. When he breathed, he breathed a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide and whatever mix of chemicals there was in the air. His heart beat steadily each day of his life. His eyes had seen beauty and ugliness, and his hands had caressed and entreated and threatened.

He was a man, and he moved in the world as men do, working and planning and building. Sometimes he built for others, sometimes he built for his own dream. He was a man.

He had blood and he had passions. He had known the scent of his lover’s skin. His groin had tightened with desire and his head had spun from ardour. His lips had kissed. His lips had promised. His lips had made vows impossible to keep, but then again all men do. His heart had beat and he imagined it in time with his lover’s, eternally entwined with an invisible bond.

When he was hungry, he ate. When he could not eat, he went hungry. When he was in pain, he felt. In heat he sweated, in cold he chilled, in autumn he lay in languor in the leaves and slept. When he walked, the muscles in his legs stretched and flexed, and the steady weight of his genitalia was a comforting sway. When he sat, the material of his clothes stretched across his thighs and he felt it.

He was cruel when the mood took him. He was kind when his conscience told him. He inspired affection, and pain, and love, and terror, and hate. He had a mother, and a father. He was conceived. He was born. He was loved. He was a man.

He was a man. Just like any other man. His body was made of flesh and bone and when the bullet hit him it tore through muscle like a knife through steak, because that’s what meat is. His heart pumped his life blood to the wound, and he bled. His blood was warm and sticky and stained everything it touched. When he walked into the cafĂ© to trigger the bomb his heart raced. When he saw men walking down the alley to him he perspired. When the car hit the pole he gasped. When the pain started in his arm he was surprised. When, when, when.

He was a man. It doesn’t matter which man he was. He was a man, as you are a man, as the man you love is human, as every man for hundreds of years has been. He spoke with the words formed from his tongue and larynx. He thought with the cells of his brain. He reacted to the situations around him. He breathed, and he felt pleasure in the filling of his lungs. He was a man.

It is nothing. It is everything. But it is to be remembered.

Thoughts On A Dead Man


North Fitzroy, Australia

  • Artist


death life

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