Repetition Compulsion – Forrest Muelrath

Ever since bumpy died 
you’ve had this thing — 
repetition compulsion.  
You’re quite good at it, 
could be a professional, in fact
delivering babies 
as W.C.W did it
Well beyond phlebotomist, 
psychiatric nurse,
or therapist, in fact 
I want to know what death is, too 
Slipped on a banana peel,
I repeat too,  
You have this thing with 
repetition compulsion, too 
in fact
A Freudian term, no doubt 
Ever since
bumpy died 
it keeps repeating,
I’m no analyst, no doubt
But I’ll keep repeating 
You have this thing 
with repetition 

I saw it before 
bumpy died 
when you did it to me
And I’ll never stop saying 
how gorgeous 
your music used to be
the day we met 
when you almost did me 
like bumpy 
— did me dead,
When you did me 
till I almost died
compulsion prepped 
to repeat  
How many
did you
from the bumpy? 





Hey, that’s a pretty cool trick, 
the Irish cop in Boston had to admit,
How you killed him and brought him 
back to life. 
I like that kinda stuff, the Irish cop said. 


You are like the son of god 
to your enemy in arms
Your magic works,
on the Boston cop—
perhaps your most 
pernicious trick

And we did it again,
at the aids museum, 
where you brought me back,
in fact,
And then we did it again,
at the aids museum, 
where the river was black
two cloaked figures rowing me back
when you pulled me forth
to two men in masks. 

One can live with aids  
the compulsion:
it is tiresome,
yet manageable 
But this repeating
is unlivable 
And I am livid! 

It’s only a matter of time 
ever since bumpy died
You have this thing,
and it repeats 
and I want to, too.