C. E. CHAFFIN
I wear the Elephant Man’s mask
like a Jewskin lampshade.
Do you see the glow of hell through it?
Come, warm yourself, take my gold fillings,
my bones for your Camellias
because living is for men in sunglasses
who filter the not me from the me
while suicide is for sissies in navy suits.
If my blood’s been desiccated
and ground to red pepper,
remember me on your pizza.
I am the Jesus of the broken cell phone,
the Savior of ceramic kitsch.
I’ll glue that broken cat
with the clock in its belly
together with my spittle.
Of my healing there shall be no end.
C.E. Chaffin, M.D., FAAFP, edited The Melic Review for eight years prior to its hiatus. Widely published, he has written literary criticism, fiction, personal essays, and has been the featured poet in over twenty magazines. In the last ten years he's had over 500 pieces published. Credits include: The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Pedestal (listen to CE read "Tom Heaven"), The Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review, Rattle, and Mannequin Envy (from which "Boundaries" was named a Best New Poem Online in May 2009). His new volume, Unexpected Light: Selected Poems and Love Poems 1998-2008, published by Diminuendo Press, features "Kentucky-Fried Christ" and was reviewed by A cappella Zoo. Visit his website and blog.