Vice Squad (Poem)

The joy in my moderation is so intense
That I can hardly keep from smiling.
I have succeeded in defeating temptation
By boring it to death.
The seven deadly sins have fled me, screaming,
Seeking likelier prey.
I have retained a taint of smugness, for color,
And I’m sure God would forgive me
If I could manage to attract His attention.
I gave up drinking
Because too much beer might make me chortle,
Which is distasteful.
I no longer eat meat because meat is murder
Nor will I pillage our brother-slaves, the vegetables—
For lasting sustenance I suck flavorful stones.
I do not waste:
I consume more garbage than I produce
And I recycle things before I use them.
I practice perfect chastity:
I keep my corrosive body fluids to myself
And will not hold hands even on the internet.
I do not make any sudden motion,
Lest I disturb some delicate, hitherto-undiscovered system.
I have achieved a stillness so profound
That birds land on me, and maggots are confused.
I have given all to the poor, so that they are all richer than me.
A homeless man came up to me and asked if I had anything to give him.
“Yes,” I said. “A flawless example of human virtue.”
He bit me!
“Could use some salt,” he said, and walked away.
—Andy Senior

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