The Serpent Sheds Its Skin

Straight edge days
Sharp as the Ginsu
Cutting through
Aluminum cans
In a 1982
TV ad.

I am heavily
[Under]medicated lately.

I am meaner,
More alert,
More punk,
And angrier
Than I was
When Hudson rye
Swam in my belly
Like the dirty Mississippi
Carries rotten driftwood
To get stuck
In the dull blades
Of an onboard motor
Of a fishing boat
Whose ballast
Crawls with suffocating catfish
Flailing and sucking at the air
Among the earthworms,
All of whom will spend
Their last days
In a styrofoam bucket.

And the goal
Of writing more;
To be available
To write more,
Has become
More intoxicating
Than any night
I cannot remember
And only knew of
From the evidence
Written on a pocketful
Of financially detrimental
Bar tabs
From neighborhoods
I should only go to
When looking
To kill
Or be killed.

One response to “The Serpent Sheds Its Skin

  1. traditionally, happy writers aren’t good writers. Gotta hit that bottle and see the bottom of a few more before you really start hating yourself and producing those powerful words. Tried an true method from Poe to Conrad to Hemingway.

    And if that’s your workstation in that picture, I envy you. Great set up!

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