Born in Tennessee and raised in Wisconsin, Graham Foust is the author of three books of poems: As in Every Deafness, Leave the Room to Itself, and Necessary Stranger. The former guitar player for Johnny Negative and His Ark of Hate, he directs the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Saint Mary's College of California and lives in Oakland with his wife and son.

Poem by Graham Foust

My Graham Foust

Gone’s the imposter. And gone’s
his gawky cross. Gone’s
his tweaked legacy’s hit list—Hooray!—
and gone’s his waste of song.

Gone’s his civilized wrist. Gone’s
his long-exploded gut. Gone’s his cruel joy,
his humbling drunk, his good tired.
Gone’s his one and every clod of common sense.

Gone’s the water from under his mumble.
Gone’s his mumble from up in the room.
Yet to go are his books and his bloodless clothes
and shoes. Gone’s his broken oven and its beef.

Gone’s his wet secret. Gone’s
his pillar and what it let fall.
Gone’s his excellent source of nothing,
his kick-ass pettiness, his premium harm.
Gone’s the bite of you he spit. Gone’s
his vague sense of what’s to be done.
Gone’s the dream that likely scraped at him
for more and more and more and gone’s his walk.

Gone’s his crass commiseration. Gone’s
his shack of gauze and ice. Gone’s
his tiny fountain. And gone
is his gluttoned-up light.

Gone’s his want-to-need basis.
Gone’s his happy plastic stain.
Gone’s his glass wolf, his lazy sperm, his pack of exactness.
Gone’s his played-through lack of played-through games of pain.

Gone’s his fleshy shovel. Gone’s
his ticket, gone’s his train.
Gone’s the friend who stepped away
and almost saved him. Gone’s the blame.

Gone’s his sister. Gone’s his doctor.
Gone’s his transom. Gone’s his view.
He’s nobody’s autobiography.
Whose are you.