The Doctor, Part 24


I am mortal

I run through my nine lives:

the time I was under 

sixteen boots,


wilding puppies 

from Queens 

trying to snuff me out

in 1990,

the times I tricked it,

on a skateboard 

inches away from the bottom of eighteen wheels

in 1989,

the times

no one knows about

in a car

I was driving

like a skateboard

as fast as I could

under the mushroom mountain fogs

through the Henry Hudson 

LSD tunnels

and all along the vodka curves 

of the northeast coast,


I count the ways

I could have died

by now

and laugh

at this joke – 


it’s one of those jokes

that gives the illusion

of going in a circle:


May 1st, I passed my first 

kidney stone,

the next 

Tuesday, May 6th,

I had a catscan 

to make sure the cats

and the stones were all gone,

Wednesday, May 7th,

Doctor Daryl called and said the stones were gone

but something 

about the cats

bothered him

and that Doctor Bart

was waiting for my call,

Thursday, May 8th,

Doctor Bart performed a colonoscopy

and told very druggedy me

there was a tumor

and it was malignant

and that Doctor Mitch, The Surgeon

was waiting for my call,

May 9th, Friday, 

Doctor Mitch asked why I thought I was here

and explained

the shit had moved on in,

metastasized like mustard

to my sweet, sweet liver

(hold the onions) and ordered

a PET scan

to go,

May 14th

Dr. Mitch


the wurst

and said Dr. Pillsbury,

the oncologist

was waiting for my call

and we met on Tuesday, May 20th

when Dr. Pillsbury 

notched it up,

Stage IV,



without a kidney stone

to say

hey look at me!

just dead

in three years,

I stopped laughing,

stopped breathing,

stared through the 

ninth floor window

and admired the roof decks

in the courtyard



The entire The Doctor series can be found here.