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Leif Haven


in the iroc z t-top
i ask you to kill me
like you would kill a very close friend
who had betrayed you

because i have betrayed you
the cops will be here any second
you ask for my hand
i throw my beer in your face

i ask you to kill me like you would kill
a family member who had
disrespected your family
i ask for the keys

i become a dune buggy
i play video games
under the cover of night
i fly in and out of contested space

i am taking your food stamps
and i am going to buy gluten
free crackers crucify me
on a keyboard i want to die

like the rest of the world dies
or before it i mean before it or
as soon as possible i mean i’ll take
away the rest of the dirty dishes

and burn them
with the rest of the dirty dishes
i mean i’ll take the keys i mean
get the hell out of my car
the iroc z dumps horrific death into the air
that you expected to breath
i want to die like the dirty cop
in the crime drama.

i want to die of hurricane.
i want to die of tsunami.
i want to die of diabetes.
i want to die of gout.
i want to die of friendly fire.
i want to die of accidental gunshot.
i want to die of overdose.
i want to die of tree spike.
i want to die of arson.
i want to die of everything.
i want to die of cancer.
i want to die by car.
i want to drink the water that comes
from the wells that bleed. i want to drive
my iroc z straight to hell i mean
my iroc z t-top was forged in hell

it wants to go home it wants
to take me to the roads
it wants to cycle through my gears,

it wants to blip my throttle,
it wants to maintain perfect poise
on the winding cliffside road,

it wants to drive off, it wants to
die deified like henry fonda. like
peter fonda. like marlon brando. like
a cigarette in the eye of the beholder
i want to take you to eat a hot dog
i want to take your hot dog and rub it
all over your back
let’s get a water bed and put it

in the back of the iroc
let’s take the iroc out to the sea and stand
up in the t-tops and holler
we’ll holler at the crashing waves

the constant always crashing waves
we’ll holler like never before
or we could drive to the mountains and holler from their tops.
what do you say? i’ve got a six pack and a knife

kill me like a roach in the cabinet door
kill me like a roach on trial
kill me like a roach in your bedsheets

let’s take this street mattress and give it to our closest friend
we can tie it on top with this rope i’ve got

crucify me on this gibson flying v
i bleed algae and spirulina
my blood is faith
crucify me on my stick shift
crucify me on my t-top

my iroc z t-top
ever steadfast
ever abiding
chrome rims and lo pro tires
my naturally aspirated
small block v8 laps up
genital sweat and small children

children practically throw themselves
into the air intake
the small block laughs and laughs
the iroc z is an impossible ghost

only supermodels can catch
only blood diamonds can see

i’m your messiah complex risen from the dead
i’m asking you to kill me like
a pelican covered in crude oil
slowly, painfully, and ironically,

we don’t even know what words
mean anymore but we still use them

strip my health benefits that i never got
from my wretched body and flay
the social security that i never
got from my dirty skin

i dare you to ask me about my
emotional well being

it’s mounted on servo motors and uses
a number of advanced projectors to
create the feeling of careening speed.
it only creates the illusion

of living young and dying hard
or being fast and furious and full of lust

hard to explain but there it is
you can go back to your life now


Ed. Note: This poem has been excerpted from its original length.


LEIF HAVEN lives in Oakland. His first book is forthcoming from 1913 Press as the winner of the 1913 Prize for First Books. Other work can be found here.

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