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This poem is taken from PN Review 68, Volume 15 Number 6, July - August 1989.

Two Poems Matthew Mead

Villanelle of the last gasp

Put out the final cigarette
And do you really want that drink
Prepare to live and die in debt

The day is drained beyond regret
The glass is cracked the ashtrays stink
Put out the final cigarette

A dirty shirt a losing bet
You are not worth a jockey's wink
Prepare to live and die in debt

Whisky like water wet and wet
A cashflow on the rocks clink clink
Put out the final cigarette

The bedclothes will be wet with sweat
Pink elephants will all be pink
Prepare to live and die in debt
...


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