to be your champion
fuck your breath
to be your mad, befuddled left
bend for banks, yes, thanks
says I
fair you well you welfare cry
badge says woman, blind your eyes
fuck the breath you occupy
black of berry, lie of lips
give me money, switch of hits
swan song swoon
the crowd erupts
ready, ready, hut-hut-hut
but breath escapes
and disappears
someday maybe
you’ll lose your fear
until then I’ll say
I’m the best
to be your champion
fuck your breath

—William Skink


  1. Turner

    I like your use of everyday language and images that ordinary unprivileged people would recognize. Some might not catch the allusion to the “fuck your breath” utterance since it was only made a day or so ago.

    • lizard19

      thank you, Turner. I take your impression that I use everyday language as a compliment. I avoided going to graduate school for an MFA because that environment can too easily become an insular echo chamber where you learn to write for a specialized audience.

      I facilitated a free poetry workshop for a year after I graduated UM. one of the regulars—you might call him an ordinary, unprivileged guy—drove a delivery truck here in town and had never sat down to intentionally write a poem.

      it was a great workshop. I would bring stuff I was working on and almost always made revisions after listening to their feedback.

      incomprehensible poetry can be fun, and expertly done by crazy surrealists pushing the boundaries.

      but for non-poetry nerds, there’s got to be some kind of discernible thread tying the language together.

      again, thank you for the feedback.

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