Snakebite

I’ve cut two x’s into my wrist
with my pen now I suck
the venom hard the blood
and yellow bile are bitter
the hardest suck I’ve ever done
I’m watching the poison
mercury up the vein
toward the chest pump
but I’ve stopped it
with steady pressure my lips
are hurting the venom
burning exposed tissues
they say you shouldn’t move
keep the limb immobile
if you lose your way
stay with your body
someone will find you 

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The Man Who Lost Himself

The man who lost himself woke up one morning,
an ordinary morning, just like any other.
And realised he had lost himself.
Well, perhaps not lost – perhaps just ‘misplaced’.
Perhaps, just ‘overlooked’.
He checked all the usual places he might be –
in his bed, because it was still quite early –
throwing back the rumpled covers.
And, of course, on the veranda
where he always liked to sit
and watch the changing light.
But there was no one there,
no one anywhere,
no one smiled, and sprang up
to shake his hand…and say, “At last, there I am!”

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Poem for Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)

Wired, the monkey on your back chatters and frets away sleep
with nervous come-back logic, with ass-kick dance routines:
slow-slip, heel-back moonwalk, freeze, turn round and shudder
when you wake at 2am you’re still, amazingly, Michael Jackson.
Turn back with the signature moves all down see the crowd’s
excitement arc on opening night to a perfect broken leg of fame:
So far, 157 million units sold; even when you’re born to it, it’s insane! 

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