triptych for elvis / i want to swallow my own piss

on stage in honolulu / the music driving upwards out of his crotch / his arms knives cutting through the air.

Three faceless outlines of Elvis performing distinctive dance moves.

Content warning: allusions to sex/fetishes


did you know elvis was an enthusiast for karate? can’t not see it once you do. on stage in honolulu / the music driving upwards out of his crotch / his arms knives cutting through the air. he studied philosophy and learnt the souls of horses, perhaps not a surprise. also unsurprising: he was a total momma’s boy. ten years old at the alabama fair and dairy show, dresses as a cowboy and stands on a stool to  reach the microphone. / places fifth. the first time you ever see footage of him he is singing ‘fever’ in 1973 and it also not coincidentally the first time you crave the taste of your own piss. it’s on youtube right now, we can watch it together if you like. singing with the languorous sensuality of an ambassador’s daughter he is drenched in sweat, wiping it with the foam casing of the microphone. can you picture him talking about hegel in his dulcet hum? the shed where he was born still stands today /

still today


the opacity of poetry is its power. feelings can be hidden behind metaphors; selves behind second person. (example: desire to swallow piss eclipsed behind a largely forgotten rendition of a love song by a dead king of rock n roll). the release provided is like hip-thrusting to a drum beat, repeated climaxing and elvis’ unbridled virility during the outro. how else to describe this except unquenchable piss-thirst?? putting piss-drinking onto the page means it will never be displaced. it is, second to actual piss drinking, the best way to say you love you. / when a man who loves you comes you aren’t very good at showing him (swallow his piss! swallow his piss!)!!. but you shouldn’t feel bad. / what you don’t know is that you haven’t yet seen elvis miss the beat because he was too busy enjoying himself and when he does he laughs and you understand in an instant that it doesn’t matter, truly it doesn’t


but if the moment doesn’t register, goes by unnoticed, well that’s ok too. too is it ok if every experience of elvis is mediated through piss drinking-proclivities / or if it takes many more men who love you to come before you realise that drinking piss isn’t everyone’s cup of piss. because in many years from now, when you finally do taste your own piss, when you learn that elvis had a twin brother who died during childbirth (and thus never had to suffer an existence veiled behind another) then your first thought will be ‘maybe for the best’. and when that happens even the opacity of poetry won’t be able to save you from the knowledge that your throat is closing up and you are dying of thirst and no matter how much you drink there will never be enough piss in the world to save you. but a beacon of optimism: what a lovely way to burn, what a lovely way to burn



Original formatting:

The poem is split into three narrow columns, each placed lower on the page.

Farrago's magazine cover - Edition One 2024


It’s 2012 and you have just opened Tumblr. A photo pops up of MGMT in skinny jeans, teashade sunglasses and mismatching blazers that are reminiscent of carpets and ‘60s curtains. Alexa Chung and Alex Turner have just broken up. His love letter has been leaked and Tumblr is raving about it—”my mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it.” Poetry at its peak: romance is alive.

Read online