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American Funeral by John Paul Davis | Word Riot

November 15, 2010      

American Funeral by John Paul Davis

To build Michael Jackson
God stole a bone from each of us.
That’s why no matter
who you are some part
of you is ardor & whipfoot
when you hear his music.
Understand? Michael
was America’s true
face, our unabashed faith,
our deep lust. By the time
he faded America was a ghost
haunting itself, a radio
broadcasting to an empty
room. His name
asks who is like God
& we didn’t want to hear
the answer. We hated
to love him. He kept
getting back up
but slowly deflated, a testament
to how incurable
is our disease.

About the author:

JOHN PAUL DAVIS’s poems have appeared in journals such as Columbia Poetry Review, Cordite Poetry Review, RATTLE and anthologies such as Off The Cuffs, Rebel Voices, and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You. He is editor and designer of Bestiary Magazine. He is a regular contributor to the literary variety shows The Paper Machete and The Encyclopedia Show. He was a 2009 Vox Ferus writer in residence. He’s represented Chicago multiple times at the National Poetry Slam and is a Real Talk Ave founding member and artist. He lives in Chicago. You can learn more about him at

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