After You're Dead

“We'll publish you after you're dead”
That's what the publisher said
“We'll make you a household name
“Give you world-wide fame
“Kudos and street cred
“But while you're alive
“You'll have to survive
“In poverty
“On just a crust of bread”

“'Cause we can't sell your poetry
“If you're living and breathing
“So expect your earthly career to be
“Full of anguish and under-achieving
“Even if you become Poet Laureate
“You'll see out your days in deepest debt
“With a life far from sensational
“And hardly inspirational
“But have no fear
“Because in fifty years
“Your bank account will turn black from red
“When we publish you after you're dead”

“The Booker Prize
“The Nobel Prize
“The Pulitzer Prize
“And more
“You'll have a ball
“Scooping them all
“Once you're knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
“But while you're fit, healthy and prolific
“As a true poet you know the score
“Though your odes are top draw
“You have one major flaw
“You've not yet shed your mortal coil
“You're still the wrong side of the soil
“Wait patiently in line to get ahead
“Then we'll publish you after you're dead”

“Besides it's good for the spirit and the soul
“To be anonymous and on the dole
“One writes poetry for art
“Not to top Waterstone's Best Sellers' Chart
“So like Owen, Dickinson, Keats, Plath and Poe
“You're not yet someone we want to know
“Though as soon as you find you're terminal
“Please drop us an email, give us a call
“Then we'll talk contracts, copyright, fees
“And royalties
“With our lawyers at your death bed...
“Then we'll publish you after you're dead”