Monday, January 22, 2018

A.F. Knott


His first mistake was the circumcision,
Pulling off all the baby's foreskin.
"The one mistake you could make with a Gomco clamp"
And he made it, a one in a thousand.
Stood at the foot of the mother’s bed,
And explained.

Forty years later, he told the press,
"I don’t know how many people I've killed. Hundreds, maybe."
His family always laughed when he said that.
But didn't laugh when he added,
"They'll eat you alive if you let them."

Plague doctor, he limped
Through quarantine zones,
Him and his peg leg, him and his dead parrot, him and his piss stained pants,
Shining light into their eyes,
Feeling the weight
Of his little black bag,
The yoke of his stethoscope,
Slouching up the hill
to kill his patients
At the top.

Wearing his blood stained
Rank and file rubber gloves,
He trusted only the pilot
Who staggered away from HIS crash,
Who killed half HIS passengers,
To give him flying lessons.

"The biggest mass murderer in the history of the United States,"
THEY said: The biggest, the most, the greatest;
He knew what the fans wanted
And provided.
Holding his breath, only for a second,
Before entering the exam room
Before turning himself ON:
"If you were my brother; if you were my aunt, this is what I would do..."
That semblance of honor
Before killing them all

Tony reads "A Real Doctor":

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Tony confesses: "I practiced as a family physician for a number of years. Every 'real doctor' finds themselves responsible at one time or another for the death of a patient. This is medicine. The bigger the practice, the greater the risk. The harsh ambiguity of this experience informs the poem."

A.F. KNOTT is working on his third novel. He sells collage and graphic designs. Recent short work has been published or will be published in Shotgun Honey, Yellow Mama, Dialogual, Apocrypha and Abstractions and 521 magazine. His websites are, and

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