Dear Rattle,

Dear Rattle,

$10,000 for a damn poem?
I’ve done it

for a morning pipe, for a cup
of cold coffee,

for a way to shake off
the shakes

after a year of guzzling down
my mother’s death

with bourbon chasers. I’ve
done it for love

and titillation, for the memory
of an old lover’s

thighs and skin. But I gotta
admit, those four

$0’s are a real kick in the ass—
a shake-yo’-money-maker

game changer. Puts a rattle
and hum in my

digital pen. So, I’m gonna
write you

a fast machine, with the motor
clean, till walls

of hurt start shaking, and
an earth of hope

starts quaking. Cause you done
shook me, baby—

yo’ seduction line done shook
me all night long.


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