National Poetry Month Day 2: “To Mercury, In Retrograde” by Randall Mann

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To Mercury, In Retrograde

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This ointment isn’t helping.
This clinic isn’t free.
The nurse’s favorite movie
is Penitentiary III.

I walk around in Crocs—
the wild parrots attack.
When all my gadgets fail,
I crash at Radio Shack.

A twirler on the pier
shows me how to juggle.
He immolates himself
before he asks to snuggle.

My wife’s a dirty hole;
my husband is the shovel.
And verse is not enough:
I’m working on a novel;

I bought a tanning bed.
My surface wounds are fresh.
My corner smells of hunger
and slathered, burning flesh.

-Randall Mann

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Randall Mann is the author of Breakfast With Thom Gunn and Complaint in the Garden.


From time to time, The Rumpus publishes new poems. Check out this multimedia collection of poetry we've published. More from this author →