The Death of David Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009)

He was found dead on a Thursday
in a luxury hotel suite in Bangkok.
“We found his body, naked, hanging
in the closet”, they said—
he hanged himself with a curtain cord
tied to his neck, one wrist and penis
in a form of sex play known as auto-erotic
asphyxiation, said to result in a giddiness
and euphoria that enhances the sexual experience,
a temporary cutting of the supply of oxygen
to the brain, heightening the effects of sexual
climax, they said.

He was happy, they said, with his fifth wife,
his new car, his grandchildren, but not enough
as he watched his member lie still in the towel
he knew a better way, had tried it often secretly
the thrill of self-bondage, a gentle pull, a light-
headedness masking the effects of age, flagellating
it until it filled tightly, hard and swollen
in his grip, ah the sweet fainting afterward
as breath rushed into his lungs, his fingers wet

but the knot didn’t give, his hand looked far
away as his vision narrowed and faded
his penis angry red constricted, gasping he
fought the cord, swinging wildly, no kung fu
moves saved him in the end as sight turned
black, a wind sounded in his ears, they found
him the next day, cut him down, provided
no details to the press.

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