The Enlarged Heart

NOTE: This poem is about the death of Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, on December 28, 2009. He was a musician best known as the drummer (and occasional vocalist) of Avenged Sevenfold, and also had an experimental rock project called Pinkly Smooth. I used to be a huge fan some years ago and recently got into their music again.


My friends used to snub their noses

when I played your songs.

They rolled their eyes

when I chuckled at your vocal acrobatics

and Back to the Future references.

You were too uncouth and reckless

and they, the refined ones,

sought to educate me.

That winter, I tried to be respectable and bored.

I deleted you from my playlist.

and got into new wave revival –

it was all the rage among young intellectuals.

It didn’t cross my mind

that there was enough room for both.

In the days after Christmas,

the non-time of the year,

a page open by reflex,

a breath suspended,

a complete stranger dying.

You were 28.

It was ruled as accidental.

You had been born with an enlarged heart,

and maybe you wanted to have the upper hand,

maybe you wanted to show it

that you were the one to write the terms.

Hey, Jimmy, it’s been seven years,

and I’m older than you ever were –

this is no victory,

but maybe it is some extra time

to learn not to pretend.

By the way,

I’m listening to your last song.


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