I won’t be senile
I won’t be lame
talking to shadows
shivering in summer.
I’d sooner die at sixty
like my mother did
with all my faculties.
I have seen how the years decline,
I want virile health
I have few illusions
about the wisdom of the old.
Not for me
emaciated limbs, brittle bones.


I understand
it was in the jungles
of Central America
where human sacrifice
and feathered serpents 
monstered the living.
It was genius
to crush out life
and feel the drug
warm inside you.
I would have loved
their heydays of murder
I would have followed the processions
of slaves having their hearts ripped out
like it was erotica.
The well-fed royalty
were magisterial
executioners dressed like kings
the sun temple steps were paved with
blood. It was like
divinity walked here.


My grandfather
wasn’t in the war
he has no medals
to hang on his chest.
On commemoration day
he has only his Alzheimer’s
and his minuscule room
at the rest home
where he lives with his echoes.
We drive to the cenotaph
to see the old soldiers;
they are more infirm than you
but they have their minds.
I wonder if you watch
the sparkling military uniforms
or hear the mournful bugle calls.
When the service is ended
when all the wheelchairs are gone
I look into your empty pupils
and feel sorry
you have no war pride
to boost your ailing years.


Something compels me
to murder.
The beauty of the acid bath
the joy of dismembering.
If I follow you
when the fall leaves are gold,
beware. God
whispers to me
how homicide is gorgeous
I am his puppet
and he shall feed me.


I like cemeteries
where monumental masonry
leans despairingly
where grave flowers wilt
full of pathos.
Kneeling widows
thrill me;
I long for
the taste of earth
when my body is mulch.
For the ground has been turned
it is warm; it waits for me. 


You stir your coffee noisily
just like my mother did.
It is comforting
to know something
in the gene pool
makes you into her.
You pout like she did
the gravelly inflection
of your voice is hers.
I sometimes worry
you may rage like her
or drink yourself into
wondrous oblivion.
I catch you
musing behind those dark eyes;
I know what you think.


A killer carved a small head
of his beloved;
it was lost when he did time
but I have found it
and keep it on my desk
like the treasurable masterpiece
it is. I always wonder
how you chiselled the wood
so lovingly, when you were a brutal
man. I can see you in the half-light
squinting your eyes
feeling the wood become round,
your concentration like fire.
The carving is your wife
who you beat to death;
she is beautiful.


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