Winter 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 1 Poetry |

The Sucker

I want to be chewed like the pencil she used to dial the cops with—that would be enough—     • My Method- acted disbelief as the pinkertons storm the building, flooding the rickety stairs while I can only stare—     • Sometime all you can do is fall— Watch the end send word your way—     • Give me a gold- plated hearse then melt it down for parts. There's art to surrender, to staying in with just a lowly pair or holding up the teller with your index finger—     • Bowing one's head at the altar before slaughter     • To watching it all wash away like the cheap dye blacking the preacher's hair in the downpour Or her dusk mascara & tattletale tears that tum on     • & off more than the water does around here, bills past due— Open up—how nicely they knock— me long overdue too.     • Might as well

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Kevin Young is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems, 1995–2015. His Book of Hours was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Prize; his book The Grey Album won the PEN Open Award, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism. This essay has been adapted from Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, longlisted for the National Book Award.

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I want to be chewed like the pencil she used to dial the cops with—that would be enough—     • My Method- acted disbelief as the pinkertons storm the building, flooding […]

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