Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My Vision Is Confused




We Were Sentenced to Die The Day We Were Born
-Gary Gilmore

On January 17, 1977 convicted double murderer Gary Gilmore was shot to death by a firing squad, becoming the first American prisoner executed in nearly ten years. Despite requests from his mother, members of various churches and the ACLU that his execution be stayed, Gilmore just wanted to get it over with. "This is my life and this is my death. It's been sanctioned by the courts that I die and I accept that." When asked for any last words, Gilmore simply replied, "Let's do it." 

Within hours of the execution, two people received his corneas. That inspired the UK punk band, The Adverts, to record their UK Top 20 hit "Gary Gilmore's Eyes".


I'm lying in a hospital,
I'm pinned against the bed.
A stethoscope upon my heart,
A hand against my head.
They're peeling off the bandages.
I'm wincing in the light.
The nurse is looking anxious,
 And she's quivering in fright

 I'm looking through Gary Gilmore's eyes.

 The doctors are avoiding me.
My vision is confused.
I listen to my earphones,
 And I catch the evening news.
A murderer's been killed,
And he donates his sight to science.
 I'm locked into a private ward.
I realise that I must be
 Looking through Gary Gilmore's eyes.
Looking through Gary Gilmore's eyes.




 I smash the light in anger.
Push my bed against the door.
 I close my lids across my eyes,
And wish to see no more.
 The eye receives the messages,
And sends them to the brain.
No guarantee the stimuli must be perceived the same
When looking through Gary Gilmore's eyes.
 Gary don't need his eyes to see.
 Gary and his eyes have parted company.

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