Vestigial is a book of poetry about growing up and older, looking back on childhood snares, and forward to the exciting yet daunting role of father.

My favorite themes of death, family, career, escape, and music weave in and out of the thirty poems, all of differing styles and viewpoints.

It's available for download or as a paperback from Amazon.

Scroll down to read a sample of poems from the book.

Vestigial, a book of poems by Michael Channing

Once and Future Foe

my father
taught every kid in our trailer park
to ride a bike
he taught me how to bait a hook
to yank the line when the bobber disappears
how to properly fix
a spoonful of heroin
how to play hotbox and horse
how to hock a vcr for maximum cash
the best place to buy weed
he hooked up the atari
and would climb the roof to turn the antenna
so i could watch the incredible hulk
he would hold baseball cards and light bulbs
so i could shoot them from his hand with my bb gun
he sold my bike and stole my birthday money
i hid my mother's checkbook from him
and one long elastic night
to the sound of my mother's cries for help
i slipped from my bed
and slid open the closet door

i wish i'd gone through
with my plan and taken the baseball bat
to his knees
broken his hands
opened his skull
i cried
and whimpered
attempted prayer

if i'd done it then
maybe i wouldn't see his reflection
in the mirror
hear his voice in my laughter
maybe i wouldn't have to kill him
over and over
in my mind
if i'd just followed through
when i was twelve

Food Court

she played beneath the table
under a ghosting paper mug of coffee
and a month's worth of beauty tips
and scandal
dodging the swing of her mother's casual heels
stop playing her mother said
get up here sit down
stop fidgeting be quiet
quit rustling quit tapping
quit singing
quit sighing
stop breathing
be still and be done
with whatever it is you're doing
with the toy
i'm sorry
i bought you

Driving to Work Writing

i wrote a poem
driving to work
i told it to the windshield
over and over
for those last few
but upon arriving
at the office
the phone rang
and the poem ran
and all i can remember is now

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing