The Party

I Winter
There is wine tonight
Beer and chips and dip
The desperation of starved gray squirrels
Clinging to window screens
Not yet removed for winter
We put stale scraps of buttered bread
From an early evening feast
On the outside sill hoping to lure
And look at them at their cute eyes and whiskers
At twitching frosted tails
I wonder if on the frozen beach beyond
We would consider tossing warm, butchered slabs of seal
To lure killer whales

I wonder who here is drunk enough
To drive downtown and toss blackened quarters
To befuddled homeless retards
To look into eyes and see the shards
Of easily shattered existence
Perhaps dazed frozen squirrels are all we can stand
No one here is drunk enough to lure whale or man
Who here at the party laughing at cold, bickering squirrels
Scrabbling across the screens
Will come back in the morning to peel them off
Light hearted who will mourn?
In the morning we will never hear
A frigid retards final cough
But we are happy to find the screens untorn

II Summer

The party again
Contrary to fact
The sun circles the earth
Stars cruise below
The hot flat world is all we will ever know
Drunken guests smoking weed
Argue over the worth
Of mosquitoes and moths electrocuted
By the Zapper
Today’s lantern of death
They fall on the deck
Black shriveled singed things
Some still fluttering
Who here will place their ear
Upon the deck to hear inexhaustible wings
Who hear drunk or not
Will dishonor life and champion rot
Shouting goddamn fucking bugs serves them right
And why is it so goddamn hot!
In the morning sweeping up the cremated
The moon chases the sun
The stars do not.

Troops Of The Simian Guard

Chimps hoisted their flag
Ape saluted ape
Monkey shoved monkey
And all flinched at the volley
Of the twenty-one gun salute
Aimed at the heart of the sky.
Passing in review
Ringtail kept up with rhesus
Gorillas beat their chest to the time
Of long-armed applauding orangutans.
Passing in review
Platoons of snakes coiled and uncoiled
Brilliant peacocks flanked dark gray elephants
Tigers prowled throughout
Purring at the delicate scent of impending
Flight and feast
Growling in irritation
At the stench of enforced serenity
Down the line
Every muscle bulged
Every tendon strained
Feathers puffed
Fur stood on end
Hides tightened
Down the line
Whistles shrieks trumpeting roaring
Do you know where we’re going
But no ostrich knew
The smallest worm crushed
Between hoof and pad
Perished knowing nothing.
Crow jostled crow
Do you know
Do you know
While circling overhead
As innocently as planets circle stars
As solemnly as Gabriel navigates hell
As relentless as fevers
Revolve around the well
Do you know
Do you know
Crow tormented crow.
And the moans the cries the screams
Traveled down the line
Amidst a general weeping
Of those creatures that might weep
Amidst the nightmares and the dreams
Of those creatures that might sleep.
Do you know where we’re going?
And do we run and fly and leap
Or do we crawl and creep
Do you know where we’re going?
All of you that stand at the outermost
Who scratch lazily at your sunburnt chests
Or provocatively trace the curves of supple
Do you know?
Do you know?
You that are at odds
With all statuesque gods
Standing at the far edges of animal sin
You witless guardians of infinite powers
Who will not acknowledge this stampede
Of your final hours.

Creating More Ash
Coming is coming is coming
The second coming is coming
Of what?
Of snow
A great snow is coming
No it is not coming
It is just not coming not now and not ever
Not coming I tell you it’s
Not coming.
A great summer is coming
A great heat boiling heaven
Iced angels will take long plunges into hot stars
And there will be a pleasant confusion of hells.
No nuclear strike
Resembles the great summer
The greatest summer coming
No continental forest fire
Equals the slight flickering
Of a single match
Illuminating the inside
Of an old car's ashtray
To see the dust of my words.
It is this brief sun warming an ash
That is coming was coming
Or has come.
It is this copulation of fire and failure
That is coming was coming
Or has come.


The river does not surge. And the shore swings like a cracked pendulum
Against a sun frozen on the horizon.
On one leg the blue heron keeps his balance.
I cannot keep mine.
The river is motionless
Its fish paralyzed
And far down the shore toward the point
A small woman covered in an orange afghan
Sits dozing by an eternal pond
Her daughter in her arms speaking nonsense.
Meanwhile the infinite snores.
I must bear the fate of my favorite coat
My father wore again and again
To walk on these cold shores
The small woman sits happily with her child
As a gnat soars
Far above the marsh
To be swallowed by a wren
Am I wrong again and again
To make wide circles around that place
So afraid of them?
I know that I must learn
That ponds dry and rivers turn
And a gnat may swallow the sun.
I must bear the fate of mother and child the blue
heron ignores.
Staving but never slow
Like a rabbit in deep snow
I know the thing hated most I will become.
Meanwhile the infinite snores.

Birth Certificate

I am ordered out into a crisp and crackling forest
Briefly questioning others
Ordered out
About the source and validity of our orders
And they splatter the green leaves red
With their answers
And laugh in my face
Patting me on the back
And pity me enough to show me
The paths of the forest.
So I join them
My teeth bared
My legs pumping
As I race down the paths
Winding through the red speckled leaves.


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