“The Afterlife,” by Stan Rice, from Red to the Rind, Alfred A. Knopf, 2002†   “The Afterlife” is a calm, sweetly melancholic lyric, which describes one final act of connubial tenderness—a wife combs her dead husband’s hair before seeing his body off in an ambulance. The poem is only seven lines long, but it contains one of the most dynamic, forceful, and daring turns that I’ve ever encountered in a poem. The turn comes in the penultimate line, and is abrupt and startling. The poet addresses the reader directly, emphatically: “Go to Venice, stupid.” The shift in tone, diction and mode of address is so disquieting; it almost feels like a violation. The move is reminiscent of Rilke’s famous turn in his “Archaic Torso of…