melting & burning

On suicide by H. L. Mencken
November 9, 2015, 10:12 pm
Filed under: quote | Tags: , ,

“Speaking for myself, I don’t recall a single day in my life when I was contented with my lot, though as human destiny runs, it has been a not unfortunate one. Worse, I have got to a point. in my old age, that I can’t imagine any concrete amelioration: experience has taught me that what I want today will only upset me if I get it tomorrow. But to give us hope is surely not the same as to embrace despair. The show remains engrossing, though it is no longer exhilarating. The horror of week after next will at least be a new one. It may be any one of ten dozen: I find myself vaguely eager to know which it is to be. Thus I advise against suicide. Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband’s clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.”

From “The Library,”
The American Mercury (1929)
H. L. Mencken 


Ralph Barton’s suicide note
August 17, 2014, 10:25 pm
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Everyone who has known me and who hears of this will have a different hypothesis to offer to explain why I did it. Practically all of these hypothesis will be dramatic—and completely wrong. Any sane doctor knows that the reasons for suicide are invariably psychopathological. Difficulties in life merely precipitate the event—and the true suicide type manufactures his own difficulties. I have had few real difficulties. I have had, on the contrary, and exceptionally glamorous life—as lives go. And I have had more than my share of affection and appreciation. The most charming, intelligent, and important people I have known have liked me—and the list of my enemies is very flattering to me. I have always had excellent health. But, since my childhood, I have suffered with a melancholia which, in the past 5 years, has begun to show definite symptoms of manic-depressive insanity. It has prevented my getting anything like the full value out of my talents, and, for the past three years, has made work a torture to do at all. It has made it impossible for me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that seem to get other people through. I have run from wife to wife, from house to house, and from country to country, in a ridiculous effort to escape from myself. In doing so, I am very much afraid that I have spread a good deal of unhappiness among the people who have loved me.

100 Good Reasons to Kill Myself Right Now – Roland Topor
June 12, 2013, 2:06 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

translated by Edward Gauvin
with gratitude to Will Schofield for uploading originally

Roland Topor, Piou-Piou, 1974

1) Best way to make sure I’m not dead already.

2) It’ll throw off the last census.

3) They’re waiting on me down below to start the party.

4) They shoot horses, don’t they?

5) I’ll rise in the esteem of my peers.

6) I’ll no longer dread the millennium.

7) Just like Werther! They won’t call me ill-read anymore.

8) I’d make a fool of my cancer.

9) I’d make a liar of my horoscope.

10) To be my therapist’s ruin.

11) To get out of voting.

12) An infallible cure for baldness.

13) To make a fresh start!

14) Death ennobles: knighthood at last!

15) I’d feel less alone.

16) I’d be fêted next All Saints’ Day.

17) The cost of living rises, but death remains affordable.

18) Good way to find your roots.

19) Finally, a martial arts move I can manage.

20) To be green and fertilize the lawn.

21) To mark the day with a white stone.

22) Others could put my organs to better use.

23) To make way for youth.

24) At last, a starring role!

25) To take advantage of the exhibitionism inherent in dissection tables.

Roland Topor, Rebonjour

26) To taste the subtle delights of reincarnation.

27) The nightmare of leap years, over at last!

28) To give my body of work a moral dimension.

29) To make people think I’m honorable.

30) To turn this list into a last will and testament.

31) I’ll become a citizen of the world.

32) Euthanasia wasn’t made for dogs.

33) I’ll have the last word.

34) 67% of French people support the death penalty.

35) ‘Cause it’s a good way to quit smoking.

36) To simplify my duality: I’ll see things more clearly with only one of me left.

37) A deliverance less laborious than a delivery.

38) There’s nothing left to do.

39) I don’t want to aggravate my lack of social security.

40) To kill a Jew, like everyone else.

41) To join the silent majority. The real one.

42) To leave behind a widow simply bursting with youth.

43) I can’t live in worry now that my deodorant’s stopped working.

44) To dodge the general draft.

45) To preserve the mystery surrounding me.

46) To prove the neutron bomb can’t hurt me.

47) To lose weight without a diet, or even lifting a finger!

48) I insist on complying with the federal plan for staggered vacations.

49) I’m trying to spare someone else the unfortunate consequences of an assassination.

50) To save energy, coffee, and sugar.

Roland Topor, Two Musicians of Death

51) So I won’t be ashamed to look in the mirror anymore.

52) What if I’m immortal? Might as well find out as soon as possible.

53) One less mouth to feed.

54) To prove to EVERYONE that I’m no coward.

55) To count how many people cry at my funeral.

56) To see, from the other side, if I’ve made it over.

57) Instead of tearing my gray hairs out one by one, might as well tear my head off all at once.

58) With a revolver: to be noisy after 10pm.

59) With gas: to savor the charms of that last cigarette.

60) By hanging: to turn an ordinary rope into a delightful good luck charm.

61) Under a train: to extend other people’s vacations.

62) With barbiturates: think I’ll sleep in tomorrow morning.

63) By electrocution: to shake things up a little.

64) By defenestration: to escape my fear of elevators.

65) I’ve heard death is an easy lay. I’m gonna have me some good times.

66) If I put my subscriptions on hold, I won’t miss a thing.

67) To be good with (tiny) animals.

68) To die the same year as Elvis.

69) To skip out on taxes.

70) To skip out on rent.

71) To stop snoring.

72) To come back in the wee hours and tug on my enemies’ feet.

73) To keep from ripping myself off as I get older, like de Chirico.

74) Because I’m an endangered species and no one is protecting me.

75) Because I’ve prepared a choice phrase for the final moment, and if I wait too long I’ll forget it.

Roland Topor, Rebonjour

76) To sever my umbilical cord once and for all.

77) To be the founder of a new style: Dead Art.

78) To watch the movie of my life at a very exclusive screening.

79) To see if there are any virgins left on the other side.

80) So they’ll deck me out when they lay me out.

81) Because I can’t wait to use the amusing epitaph I made up: GOOD RIDDANCE.

82) To see if paralytics will be healed on my tomb.

83) So the twentieth century will finally contain an important event.

84) To feast on the exquisite blood of young women, once I’m a vampire.

85) Because I’ve always wanted to speak a dead tongue.

86) So I can, quite strikingly, inform everyone of my position on suicide.

87) Because Paris just isn’t what it used to be.

88) Because Groucho Marx is dead.

89) Because I’ve read all the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

90) Because weather forecasts let me down.

91) So others will follow my example.

92) To start a revolution.

93) To prove my skill, if I don’t miss.

94) For a change of friends.

95) For a change of scene.

96) To be above the law.

97) Because a well-done suicide is worth more than an average lay.

98) So I won’t die at a hospital.

99) So my blood will make a nice stain on a canvas.

100) Because I’ve got 1,000 good reasons to hate myself.

“Suicide Song” – Tony Hoagland
December 10, 2012, 8:44 pm
Filed under: poem | Tags: , ,

But now I am afraid I know too much to kill myself
Though I would still like to jump off a high bridge

At midnight, or paddle a kayak out to sea
Until I turn into a speck, or wear a necktie made of knotted rope

But people would squirm, it would hurt them in some way,
And I am too knowledgeable now to hurt people imprecisely.

No longer do I live by the law of me,
No longer having the excuse of youth or craziness,

And dying you know shows a serious ingratitude
For sunsets and beehive hairdos and the precious green corrugated

Pickles they place at the edge of your plate.
Killing yourself is wasteful, like spilling oil

At sea or not recycling all the kisses you’ve been given,
And anyway, who has clothes nice enough to be caught dead in?

Not me. You stay alive you stupid asshole
Because you haven’t been excused,

You haven’t finished though it takes a mulish stubbornness
To chew this food.

It is a stone, it is an inconvenience, it is an innocence,
And I turn against it like a record

Turns against the needle
That makes it play.