American Maniac by David Spicer

My sister was the biggest kid
on the block, so nobody
fucked with me. He drinks
beer at the table, loves plaid
pants with an irony, admits
he’s stoned, and tells stories
through the full moon night.
His eyes are redder as each hour
passes, asks what color is a voice,
uses that pigment to paint
the cold world hours later.
He laughs about his strange sister,
how a bully should have his basketball
stolen by someone bigger than he.
Throws his wit around, remembers
fighting Ralph Crockett on the other
side of the volcano. He talks
about the scrap with Crockett,
who bled all over him.
His sister beat that bastard, too.
Now there’s silence,
now there’s pretend time, it’s time
to look out the window, he says,
but none of us in this magic city
believe him, just listen as long
as he wants to talk.

David Spicer
David Spicer has had poems in Yellow Mama, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart, is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, and is the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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