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Winter/Spring 2016

Transcript of a Private Voice Memo: Zombie Crawl


by D.S. West


[Rustling, chatter of passersby. Many, not all, passersby
are made-up film actors, cast as make-believe living dead
and starring in a local network original, a prime-time special—]

You should probably write something about that dude who was uh,
pointing the plastic gun at people walking by, cuz they’re zombies?
You’re at, Denver Zombie Crawl, by the way– and then there was the uh,
you walked off of the sixtree– Sixteenth Street Mall, where most of the uh,
people with makeup were,

and there was the lady in the uh,
wheelchair, who was legitimately like, you know,
shrunken back, and… [pause, but pregnant with, what? and in the
time it takes for this memorial process to fulfill itself, a young passerby
tells her companion, “I mean…” but what she means is too far behind,
the mic doesn’t find out, the remainder joins the pretend dead–]

like, too real for comfort, you know? Uh… Oh yeah! and then there that uh,
dude like, in the– in the, like, tattered, like, um– tubed mask? pushing the

[maybe, in his hesitation, he revisits his summer vacuuming carpets
in a low-income rest home, where his great-grandmother sews invisibly
and mumbles empty-handedly, mostly incoherently. Mostly.]

uh… person on the gurney? and then they had the really realistic looking,
like, older zombie, with them? that was cool too, but. The first two

[or maybe he hesitates because of the condition of the lady
he’s referring to, a paralyzed, shriveled woman on the corner,
panhandling, blind– fathoms more visceral than the finest work
of any DIY, Karo syrup, KNB Picasso–]

in particular, right?


[More poems by D.S. West]