The American Book of the Dead Excerpt


Amerika! i don’t want
your stain remover
shipped to me
at 3:43 in
the morning
when i’m
at my lowest
down in the dumps
& feel like i can’t
make it anymore
& got nothing left
to live for with all
your lifetime
Amerika! i don’t
need anymore your
exact temperature
& dew point
& humidity & when
the rain & thunder
is going to rumble
in & begin falling
cuz to me always
loved those types
of spontaneous
necessary elements
& things as deep
down inside think
i knew it would
clean up all the
filthy streets
& save me
& my tortured
& tormented being
& demons & damaged
life & low life & mean
& petty bickering society
just like maybe travis bickle
in taxi driver & was exactly
like him driving the graveyard
during the sins of the crack era
at exactly 4:23 in the morning
in the deep & desolate empty
vacant streets with sheets
of steam rising up from
the sewers & gutters
coming up from
a whole other world
under the underworld
with a hole weird sort
of film-noirish sex-
appeal some hellish
ethereal firmament
from the fissures
of the unknown
engulfed swallowed
somehow feeling
comforted & more
a part of it all as
if all the world
cooling off
the madness
of the drama
of the decadent
shattered evening
& miraculous dawn
& you’re the last soul
standing, starving
stranded, brooding
keen, beat, zen-boo
dah, bought & sold
alien-ate-it, alone
not knowing
a single living
breed & soul
stoned dead
to the world
seeing through
it all & feeling
at that exact moment
knowing everything
& knowing the exact
quota of fresh new
batch of victims
murdered once
a week having
to hold it all in
having to make
a living as some
20 year-old kid
after all the real
life drama
& crimes
of passion
of humanity
& blow-ups
& explosions
& all getting
& put back
together again
as if nothing
had happened
then repeating
the same
ritual & routine cycle
survival of the fittest
futile suicide mission
just the following day
all becoming one big
graveyard shift on stage