There's something attractive about pain, isn't there? The attention that comes with suffering in a spotlight. The self assurance of knowing life can't get much worse. When the world is against you, it must consider you a threat. Scars can be armor. Pain can be fuel.

Self-Righteous Self-Harm is available as a download or physical paperback from Amazon.

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

Self-Righteous Self-Harm, a book of poems by Michael Channing


the music spun directly from our frantic hearts
washed its hair in sweat and agreed to be lonely
we were angry and fearful with just enough courage
to buy a guitar and a second-hand peavey
the garage was a temple and we held dominion
over three or four members who worshiped irregular
our gods were all fragile made of needles and spite
there was only one edict never be normal
we were all uniquely unsuited to life
and that is what wove us together forever
outsiders looking outward at a world falling inward
braced for the crush of oncoming adulthood
ill-equipped for the cold in our flannel and shorts

Game On

The devil deals
from the bottom of the deck,
all the sixes up his sleeve.
The dice drop nothing
but eyes,
and the bones of your back
kiss the cold hard skin of
the eight ball.

In your own life
you're just visiting.
The rent's due.
Your ship is sunk.
Your creditors have declared a war.
The best you can hope for
is a zero sum.

The wheel rolls right
over you.
Rules rearrange to hand you
that whammy every time.
You bet your life and broke the bank,
and now you’re in constant
danger of cancellation.

You've only one recourse
when the odds are against you
and even the evens
are never in your favor:
Double down,
buckle up,
and game on.

I Wonder How Long He Waited
Before He Ruined It

there was a time when warren zevon would write a song
and no one else on the planet knew it existed
then he'd make a demo, play it for the band
they'd learn it then rehearse and release
and millions would know its perfection
i've written a song
and just as many are aware
as when the late great warren zevon first penned the indifference of heaven
i'll never be as great
but one day we will again be equal

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Chokes and Warbles
Now Available

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