Obituary for X

By Kip Knott

X died today of every known disease, surrounded by family, friends, strangers and no one at all.

X was born wherever he marked the spot on any given day of any given year, and lived a life only imagination can concoct.

X was a little bit of all of us—devoted friend, lover, husband, wife, countless milk carton children, activist, philanthropist, organ donor, and martyred saint—and all who knew X remember his patience, understanding, and extraordinary wisdom.

But in a startling deathbed revelation, X exposed a darker self—the shop lifter, the hooker, the junk bond salesman, the embezzler, Deep Throat, the man on the grassy knoll, the one who turned Hoffa into stew, not to mention John Doe Number Two. By the time the priest extinguished the candles, X had confessed to everything, including the expulsion of Adam and Eve.

X is survived by 25 brothers and sisters, millions of divorcees, and a lost generation. Already lawyers have begun the search for X’s undiscovered treasures.


Kip Knott’s writing has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The American Journal of Poetry, Beloit Fiction Journal, Gettysburg Review, The Sun, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the author of four poetry chapbooks, the most recent being Afraid of Heaven (Mudlark). His full-length collection of poetry—Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on—is forthcoming from Kelsay Books later this year. Currently, he is a teacher and an art dealer who travels the Midwest and Appalachia in search of lost treasures. More of his work may be accessed at

 Art by Lesley C. Weston (Digital)

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