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Hells Bells

Wasn’t allowed to listen

to secular music. Mother said

it was the devil’s music.

Church said Satan was made

of music, glory of the Lord

inlaid in his pipes.

Before he was cast out, pastor

said Satan led heaven’s choir.

Lucifer still sings pastor said

and we could hear him

on Rock ‘n’ Roll records

backwards, hell-bent & warbled.

Sometimes when I’m bored

I research the Manson murders.

I often think about Sharon Tate’s

shredded pregnant body. One night,

I even looked up the pictures. Yes,

of course, it was beyond brutal.

But I wanted to see complete damage.

The mess didn’t scare me.

Supposedly Sharon screamed:

Mother! Mother! Mother!

Mother! Mother! Mother!

before & while they knifed her.

When I said I wasn’t scared

I’m not saying I wasn’t disgusted.

I’m saying copious amounts of blood

& horror look familiar to me,

maybe expected is a better word,

or, rather, that I that wanted to be certain

I was alive. Okay, it was about control.

I’m grasping at what I know

& don’t know for precise meaning,

even now I think scare is not quite right,

which makes me think of Lowell’s

wedge-headed mother skunk

inside that empty cup of sour cream.

My first CD was Alanis Morissette.

I listened to her Jagged Little Pill

on repeat. I liked that secret song

about her breaking into her lover’s house

& dancing in the shower just like the raw root

of any dark sound: desperation.