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A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 3 2009 6:50 AM


Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Carol Muske-Dukes read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes..

Monsters, all of them. The ones who
gave one life, the ones who take life

Back. The big bloodbath: Family
Romance and hot woe: the Mom

Who shoots up, the Dad who flashes—
Sex fiends, hand-cranked snakes-in-

The-grass, uncles, aunts, boys & girls,
Gay & straight, rocketing up and down

The twelve steps to confront the big
Mocked sad-as-shit Self, mirrored

In the Times by the Depts. of War
& Good Works: breathing life

Back into those we need to kill
To restore Peace. There will be

Heaven-sent ideologies: every
Religion tweaked and sold like crystal

Meth. In the heart, in the vein—
What passes for Populism is

Set forth by the guy on the internet
Who wants to be eaten alive. Buddy,

We all want to be eaten alive, isn't
That finally It? You, me, a bottle of

Chateau Y'quem (1945), some techno-
Lute, Catullus' words piped in, just to

Keep us honest: and then, the Donner
Party all over again, but by choice this time.


Carol Muske-Dukes is professor of creative writing and English at USC and the author of eight books of poems, most recently Twin Cities.