“Of All the Dead People I Know,” a Rumpus Original Poem by Karyna McGlynn


Of All the Dead People I Know

I can’t imagine any of them hanging out.
They are in arcadia with their laptops
but there are no outlets, and they are
playing a video game in which they
can never move to the next level.

Except for the grandmothers, who are
rifling through bins of discount clothing,
looking for a deal on something they lost.

It must be so lonely. Selling shoes
for eternity, never learning any new jokes.

We need a new imagination when it comes
to death. If only for our own sake. I’m tired
of imagining the dead sitting on swings
with no one in the world to push them.

–Karyna McGlynn

Karyna McGlynn’s first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, won the 2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry from Sarabande Books. She is the author of several chapbooks including the forthcoming collaboration Small Shrines (Cinematheque Press, 2010). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Octopus, Denver Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Lumberyard and Forklift, Ohio. Karyna holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. She edits the journal linelinelineline with Adam Theriault.

Read the Rumpus Review of Karyna McGlynn’s I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl in Rumpus Books.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →