“bulletproof” – Wolfgang Carstens

Sometimes pleasure-heads must burn.

a review of Bulletproof by Wolfgang Carstens (Grey Borders Press)

Bulletproof by Wolfgang Carstens, with great illustrations by Janne Karlsson, is a book about shuffling off this mortal coil. Appropriately, it starts with a poem about Lemmy, written while he was still alive. Death itself made the relevant point, with impeccable timing.

The poem “it’s not that you’re gone” reflects on how the person mentioned marginalized death, didn’t “take the time to say goodbye”. This all relates to Sein-zum-Tode, which isn’t a question of obsessing about death, reveling in the ghoulish. It’s a question of structuring your existence around the fact of mortality without any insane dreams of continuation of consciousness. & this includes all the sayings goodbye, if needed.

The poems remind us to pay attention, to walk your dog more often while she can still walk, & not take shit for granted.

At 45 the writer noticed his body was not invulnerable, was not just going to carry on like it always had. There’s no rocket science involved, he points out, you make the most of it. When you are young you can grant yourself months to be totally emo & lie in the dark worrying about mortality, being inauthentic.

I’m older than Wolfgang, & i noticed a while back that some things i no longer have time for. I don’t cultivate my field of fucks very assiduously & have few left to give. It is better to set free the glorious beast & live minute to minute like a dog does.

you started walking
such a long
time ago,

it has been
a long journey.

were bound
to get lost.

all do.

i know it
seems hopeless,

i know there
isn’t much time

it is never
too late


writes Carstens. The point is that memento mori should not lead directly to mourning yourself. You are not an appropriate object for autoerotic mourning. Other motherfuckers do that. The shadow of Thanatos should lead to a party in the shade, fully aware of the temporary nature of happy, because a sense of eternity just means living like you are selecting what is worthy of eternal return.

Get it here: http://greybordersbooks.jigsy.com/bookstore