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Two Poems

A response to the health-care vote
To a Politician
Your penis is homeless 
You are covered with as many warts as the lies you’ve told
You pat maggots on their backs
Your syphilitic mouth sucks the slugs from the irradiated cocks of your cohorts
This gives a bad name to syphilis, if I mention it in relation to you 
Your asshole farts from overeating of civilian causalities 
The toxic fingernails of your leprous hands 
Flip through the reports of your medievally botulistic bubonic policies 
Your brain is full of lice, tickling it with greed for pesticide-ish powder
Cockroaches fill your pancreas with their eggs
But this is an insult to cockroaches 
Your lungs fill with the blood of the dead 
Poisonous snakes of freedom crawl into your every orifice, but to no avail 
Spiders come out of your nose 
Your heart is being pinched by Lyme-diseased tics, stung by killer bees, bitten by the rattlesnakes of prevarication 
First thing every morning your gangrenous arms embrace the rabid turds of your generals 
Your penis is the size of a junkie’s needle 
Your nostrils resemble the assholes of cops
It seems to us you convert your farts into speeches
Your disease-ridden mouth is full of the incurable sores of your lies 
Your petrified eyes eat the bulimic vomit of your violent words 
All words, all humans, insulted, disgusted, by your depraved existence. 
—Bernadette Mayer, from Scarlet Tanger.
Falling Down in America

Every three seconds someone over sixty-five falls down in America.
Our records show
that you are over sixty-five
and may therefore have already fallen down in America
maybe more than once.
Perhaps upon entering your bath you slipped
and cracked open your skull and subsequently drowned
in a pool of blood.
If so, disregard this notice. Perhaps while gazing at the sea distractedly one day
your balance failed
and the waves carried you away toward the irradiated swells
of Fukushima.
If so, never mind—
the flesh has already peeled
from your limbs
and your eyes
have melted in their sockets
in which case
you should disregard this notice.
We need hardly remind you
that many of your friends
and relatives, perhaps beloved uncles, aunts, cousins, your seven brothers and sisters, parents assuredly,
may have succumbed in some manner to the fateful equation
of gravity and age.
In addition, it is likely
that your investments recently caved
and as a result, from the shock, you fainted upon the cheap Mexican tiles
of your dining room floor
and days later awoke
among impersonal professionals, masked and clad in white,
and addressing you
as if you were a child.
If so, you now know
that you are utterly alone
in this life.
Please favor us with a reply regarding our one-time offer which will soon expire.


—Michael Palmer, from The Laughter of the Sphinx.