For Graham Parkinson

At the scorching words of Blaise Cendras,
Henry Miller clasps hands
to face and says
‘Oh no… no, he didn’t write that?’

The beautiful agony, too much.

In a World War 1 pile, Blaise’s right arm
dangling and spurting,
his writer’s voice said
Get the fuck up, right now.

With working arm, Blaise slid out his pistol
raised it and clicked,
cleared the dead
and dying
as he marched to the Doc and the nurse, and said
I’m next or I shoot you all dead.

The Docs, realising—shells rising and declining
in the background like whaletalk in a minefield,
flares like six suns in the night—

just what
they were dealing with,
hurriedly hacked off
the arm,
and gave teeth-gritting Blaise all their morphine and whiskey.

Headhunters chased him all over.
He smoked in his sleep,
wrote six novels with one hand on an old typewriter.

Death came again to undo the proud living Blaise.
Blaise spoke to the doc and the nurse

No drugs;
give me death
undiluted.

Blasie Cendras
was a writer.

Are you?