Vampire: Stars and Stripes


I.

Man's God is a man's man: boy howdy and chest hair: biceps for chugging

wet things clean and fast: assorted steak knives and shotguns

in the utility loops of his belt:


He races stock cars and puts out wildfires while feeding starved-faced

children: makes love to their mothers: builds a Corvette and a house

in the same weekend: his legs are literally redwood trunks:


He smokes 27 packs a day and puts back 5 fifths of whiskey

(is that a whole of whiskey?) . . .


II.

 . . . He's born under reasonable doubt: as he makes his grand exeunt

from the womb, his mother is hellbent on firing the scrutineer of her lady parts, squeezing the

bedrails as if they were armrests in the gondola of a

Swiss Zeppelin, crashing into the Alps.


His father is:

a.) Passed out on the floor, in a pool of his own vomitus

b.) Clogging his arteries with the snack machine buffet

c.) Speeding through Montgomery County, trying to scrub the odor of vagina from his mustache


To the doctor and the nurse, he is Tuesday.


III.

His dream is to be a stuntman: to wear daredevil suits designed

by Elvis, cape and fringe unfurl in motorcycled winds.

Mistaken for an American Vampire: stars and stripes and gasoline

rags, road-rash, singed eyebrows and scorched sideburns: Elvis towelettes flagged off the back of

his 750CC, he shifts in a smear of bolt blue and TV light.  At thirty-two he fills his tub with cold

water and 60 pounds of ice to know what a heart attack

feels like.


IV.

There are not enough keys in this world to jangle

him awake.  An avocado and hair beret pusher on the flaccid

streets of Nashville, he mistakes his thirst

for Christ, for the thirst on his throat and tongue.


His cells and his soul explode in a self-inflicted water cure.

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