Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 4 of 6

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-2 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).

It enters a robotic water main,
which, on command, can self-electrify.
Before I kill you, now, I will explain:

I’ve added some enhancements to my brain—
you’ll nev—

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 3

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-2 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).

 

 

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 2 of 6

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-2 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

 

Philip Larkin calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy birthday to Philip Larkin, who would have been 99 today.

ROSIE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
PHILIP LARKIN (caller): I work all day and get half-drunk at night.
ROSIE: Maybe you need a vacation. What do you enjoy doing?
LARKIN: Waking at four to soundless dark.
ROSIE: And then what? Birdwatching? Fishing?
LARKIN: I stare.
ROSIE: Forgive my saying it, but it sounds like you need a hobby.