Written by Phillip Woodruff


matthews international 

casket division 


that’s what the sign says on the building across the street

and while it creeps me out completely 

i wonder if they’re hiring?


i wonder what experience is required, do i need to be certified? ordained? 



and what do you call someone who crafts these beautiful little haunted houses?

coffinsmith? journeyman casketeer? 

dead grandmother gift wrapper?  

i’ll need a business card


other job openings in my area: nuclear waste taste tester, substitute backup 

pickle briner, deep sea firefighter, bubblegum food color lab tech 

interim office-temp hiring manager (but it’s just a day gig, you know 

until someone publishes my pop-up book of cartoon philosophy) 


as coffinsmith, i’ll make minimum wage with a 401k

paid vacation, social stratification and employee discount

instead of smoke breaks i’ll pound nails in my own personal project coffin

fourteen square foot subterranean death aquarium, mini bar 

surround sound, and a launch button, just for fun


more employment options i should consider: love monkey

disaster junkie, used car salesman stunt double 

best supporting actor in a superficial and techno-colored administrative role 

semi-pro miniature golf sports radio commercial break announcer

(and now a word from our sponsor: matthews international    


casket division) and i wonder what the other divisions manufacture

lawn chairs? christmas ornaments? baby cribs?  

when i retire, the company will throw a nice party

all my favorite people, all my favorite snack crackers

i’ll drink until i can’t stand, then lay down in my coffin

coworkers will carry me down to the river and cheer

“he worked himself to death! all hail the coffinsmith!”


or i could end this bullshit right now

park the car in the river, between two buffalo peaks

nothing but a loin cloth and a slingshot

run gorilla-knuckled into the wild


i wonder what my high school guidance counselor might think of that

i wonder what junior-grade i.r.s agents might think of that

i wonder what executive marketing department senior survey supervisors

might think about that 


who cares 

let them make their own coffins 


Text © Phillip Woodruff




Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.

We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.


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