. Cryogenic Freezing from the conclusion of A Gallery of Ethopaths Let’s end on a deathly note To grab my readers by the throat. When ethopathic nonsense reigns It keeps a populace in chains, And though touched by death’s icy mitt, An ethopath’s a mindless twit. A lot of half-baked brainless wheezing Is spent on cryogenic freezing— A notion tasteless and obtuse Thought up by schmucks whose screws are loose. The idea is that when you die Your corpse gets packaged, cold and dry, In liquid nitrogen or ice And kept in storage (for a price), And when five hundred years from now They find a cure for why or how You passed away, they’ll then unlock The frost-seal on your glacial block And thaw you out, fix up your ills With laser surgery and pills, Recharge your hibernating heart, And presto! You’ve a brand-new start On life again. A can’t-lose bet, For after all, see what you get: A scientific resurrection Without damnation or election! In fact, of all ethopathy This “cryogenics” seems to me Its quintessential heart and soul— It stamps out the transcendent goal Of union with the realm eternal, Ascending to the heights supernal, And substitutes a tasteless joke. The intellectually broke Are those who think it has some merit. The notion that you can inherit Life beyond the span of years Allotted in this vale of tears Is cherished by a pack of dopes With no faith in eternal hopes, But anxious still to stay alive Beyond their threescore five and five. It twists the promise of religion Into a sick, degraded vision Of sci-fi immortality Shored up by mundane sophistry. Cryogenics’ witless choosers Are empty, addlepated losers Who can’t abide the solemn thought Of death, and who have therefore bought A vain illusion of postponement Of mortal closure and atonement. Let’s hope that centuries from hence The human race will show more sense And fling those cryogenic stiffs Over the edge of coastal cliffs To help cool down the ocean’s waves While giving them to deep-sea graves. Like ice cubes in a highball glass They’ll cool the drink through which they pass; And the surf will be quite nice Refreshed by all this ancient ice. A gelid, death-cold tide will beat On our descendants’ naked feet, And folks will need a bit less fanning While they lie there, oiled and tanning. . . Joseph S. Salemi has published five books of poetry, and his poems, translations and scholarly articles have appeared in over one hundred publications world-wide. He is the editor of the literary magazine TRINACRIA and writes for Expansive Poetry On-line. He teaches in the Department of Humanities at New York University and in the Department of Classical Languages at Hunter College.