Live Human Head

           after Nick Reding

The mumbled and squinted basement—

A black hovering over the whoosh of

a pair of socks  The divorced years downed

by the flood/the acid  Then he lit a cigarette

like blew up immediately  The basement

following singed in the space of blue flame

Books and fishing equipment in boxes

alongside family  The basement blown-out

Thinking he’d fight the fire the brutal counter

of his panicked meth  Dope he had

The Finest and Prolific  i.e. He spread the fire

Impossible inconceivable disarray  i.e. He began

to melt  i.e. He flung himself his roasting legs

and his inferno like blunt skeins of skin

all but gone  Well-Done  i.e. He flung himself

at the police  The police watched  Some say

sadistic pleasure  Some say he begged

to everyone watching—“What could you do

with a man?”  This moment is synonymous

with the deranged nineteen years with the known

exploits of legends  The chapter called

Destructiveness Extended  i.e. He is unable

to shoot up but could resume once again

With a new trick for holding the pipe

With a new method for fighting the fire

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