Posted on July 19, 2007


By Tony O’Neill

I was bitten on the arm
by some kind of bug
the arm swelled
and I fretted about cancer

yesterday I woke with a headache
and I knew it was cancer
some kind of brain cancer
I worried about death
but also smiled longingly
at the idea of a morphine drip

today I dropped off Nico
at her grandmother’s
and I am walking down 34th avenue
across Steinway street

past the closed down branch
of blockbuster
US furniture
the newly constructed condos
the newspaper guy
the car yard
the Brazilian grocery

and the sun is out
the humidity is low
and I am happy

soon I will get back to my apartment
and draw the blinds
lock the door tight
listen to the jahlights
‘last road to dubland’
take my first shit of the day

then I will get high
and write this poem

I am a man of simple pleasures
An unexpected memory
a smile on the street
a poem that isn’t work

I am the center
of my own


Tony O’Neill is the author of the poetry collection Songs from the Shooting Gallery [Burning Shore Press 2007], the novel Digging The Vein [Contemporary Press 2006 / Wrecking Ball Press 2007] and Seizure Wet Dreams: Short Stories & Poems [Social Disease 2007]. He is a founding member of the Brutalists.

Posted in: Poetry