About Otwituaries


I started tweeting these poetic obituaries via Twitter on the death of Ernest Borgnine in July 2012. After a while a friend asked if I would gather them together, so I have created this blog as an archive. New Otwituaries will appear here as well as being broadcast via Twitter and Facebook.


All the Otwituaries are written very quickly on the day their subjects pass away, so are clearly lacking in polish or the insight that only comes in time, but they are all from the heart. They represent the people who have, in some way, touched my life - actors, musicians, sporting figures, TV personalities, writers, explorers and assorted others of note.

We live in an age where people are celebrated for the most modest of achievements - news and media ensure that seemingly everyone gets their five minutes of fame if they stick around long enough. It may therefore seem a little morbid or even self-serving on my part to write about the recently-deceased (few if any of whom I have actually met), but these people already enjoy some degree of immortality through their celebrity, and therefore don't need a poem from me. I hope you enjoy reading these short poetic sketches all the same, in the spirit they are intended.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Aretha Franklin - d. August 16th 2018

This is the gospel:
that a choir will gather
to wring the last drops
of song from their souls,
to give you your propers
when you get home.

Read about Aretha Franklin here




Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Bernard Hepton - d. July 27th 2018

The secret is out;
The Stalag is deserted,
the cafe is shuttered,
the last act 
has left the Circus.

Read about Bernard Hepton here



Sunday, 5 August 2018

Barry Chuckle - d. August 5th 2018

To you, pratfalls are sense unspooled.
To me, slapstick is the purest art.
To you, fol-de-rol is for child or fool.
To me, I am the idiot at its heart.

Read about Barry Chuckle here


Monday, 9 July 2018

Tab Hunter - d. July 8th 2018

To the girls 
you left behind 
you were everything;
swoon-bait, boy soldier,
young love whose smile
broke hearts
ninety-nine ways.

read about Tab Hunter here

Friday, 29 June 2018

Harlan Ellison - d. June 27th 2018

On the edge of forever
is a city of gold and glass,
though it is founded 
on pulped fictions 
and the girders 
of your imagination.

Read about Harlan Ellison here

Friday, 15 June 2018

Leslie Grantham - d. June 15th 2018

Sometimes the script
leaves the door ajar
for unlikely resurrections.
A weighted soul 
sinks into a canal,
and everything 
is murk and ripples.

Read more about Leslie Grantham





Saturday, 9 June 2018

Eunice Gayson - d. June 8th 2018

Do you remember 
the first time? The thrill
of someone’s surrender
to the kiss, or the kill?
It bonds me to forever;
indelible, uneditable, still.

read about Eunice Gayson here

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Peter Stringfellow - d. June 7th 2018

Your perdition;
to become Tiresias
in basque and mullet,
work the eternal club
where gentlemen
are not gentlemen
and all members 
are upstanding.

Read about Peter Stringfellow here


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Alan Bean - d. May 26th 2018

Your canvasses,
- footsteps in dust,
blue globe on
a gold-leaf visor -
stretch 240,000 miles,
hang in the galleries
of our future.

read more about Alan Bean here




Monday, 23 April 2018

Verne Troyer - d. April 21st 2018

Hollywood is no Lilliput,
no imaginarium;
it is the reality
that shelters the unreal,
where stature
is not measured
in feet and inches.




Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Dale Winton - d. April 18th 2018

Teeth, tan, eyes, camera, 
hypersmooth, always
in control. 
When the klaxon sounds
there will be prizes
for anyone with showbiz 
in their soul.



Monday, 16 April 2018

R. Lee Ermey - d. April 15th 2018

Angels? I seen
maggots holier
than thou.
What you grinnin' 
so beatifically at?
I’ll ram that halo
so far down your neck
you'll be shittin'
miracles…




Saturday, 14 April 2018

Miloš Forman - d. April 13th 2018

It’s the talk 
of the day room;
you and McMurphy
- not gone upstairs
but together in escape.
It’s easier than 
you think, Chief.

Read about Miloš Forman here



Thursday, 5 April 2018

Eric Bristow - d. April 5th 2018

A nickel-tungsten 
22-gramme 
smudges the lipstick 
of double 16. 
Your swagger 
is a dart to the heart;
we go round the board
with you, one last time.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Steven Bochco - d. April 1st 2018

7am. Roll call. Anyone
seen Bochco? No one’s
seen Bochco. Downtown,
asleep in a dumpster
or hustling undercover,
too Street to be sweet,
always careful out there.

Read about Steven Bochco here


Friday, 30 March 2018

Bill Maynard - d. March 30th 2018

Oh no. Flags fly low
across thorpes and thwaites, 
rough-handed men
sink pints of cooking,
slur Magic our Maurice,
bumble to the lonely grave.




Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Katie Boyle - d. March 20th 2018

Europe awaits you,
its forêts and Straßen
trembling in tulle, organza. 
Et maintenant 
les votes du jury Élysian.
Can you hear me Élysia?

read about Katie Boyle here

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Jim Bowen - d. March 14th 2018


The reputation you made
in the clubs, that's safe;
will you consider gambling it
on TV? You have the time
it takes for the world to revolve…


Read about Jim Bowen here

Stephen Hawking - d. March 14th 2018


All bodies eventually collapse
into themselves, and yet
the radiation from your mind
will be a constant, detectable
at the end of all things.