Now that your third shift
at the workshop is done,
tick the box, let’s begin.

You have before you one
blood-splattered fur;
dry ice and a sewer grate;

the epistemology of scorn;
and all the stays you can burn.
What would Karl Lagerfeld do? Vampirize.

Time to start smoking;
time for breakfast, Tic Tacs
and hello yellow meth.

In this light, the face always cracks,
this laptop light, this last-night light.

There are six hours left on the clock.
It will get a little hard to take.
And don’t forget to rake

every black-tipped
from the catwalk.

Randall Mann is a poet living in San Francisco. His first collection, Complaint in the Garden was awarded the 2003 Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry. He is the co-author of the textbook, Writing Poems (2007), and his second collection, Breakfast with Thom Gunn was released in April 2009 by The University of Chicago Press.