March 2005 / Volume VI / Issue II
Willie Smith
Death on the Air

They had me on the show.
I was a guest, I was drunk;
I didnít know; I didnít care, it didnít matter Ė fuck it.
They had me stuck between Ed
and Johnny. Johnny was smiling over
at Ed and Ed was laughing out into space.
They were making light, making
like I was just a drunk, didnít have any money;
looked, acted and smelled funny. So I
got my gun out and gave it
to Ed. He took it in the gut;
never stopped laughing. Something green
like caterpillar blood seeped  out of his 3-piece business suit.
Johnny gave Ed the deadpan.
I turned and shot Johnnyís wig off.
Two people in the crowd died laughing. Then I
pistol-whipped his aftershave, prodded his deodorant,
broke his plastic nose with the butt of my gun.
I was taking my time. We had an hour and a half to kill.
I shot off Johnnyís tie, suspenders, belt,
backbrace, shoelaces, sock garters; turned and
shot off Edís bra.
Wheeled and

shot holes in Johnnyís shoes
to make him dance, but he couldnít. He was too stiff
and shattered into a thousand shiny pieces
of expensive shit. That was it.
The crowd gave it to me, pounding me
to death with applause.
Ed, who by now looked like some gigantic black beetle,
got up and walked off the air.