A Little Undomesticated

For R, with thanks. I don’t believe in bad dogs.

And you are the Knight of Wands,
fire’s human guise of low-set Rottweiler –
all battle-passion, dark hair, and youth.
A protector, or a menace, depending on parallax.

Oh, guise of low-set knight! You fell reversed
in a wrongheaded skirmish –
Protector turned menace turned until threads stripped on threadbare norms.
Bad dogs get put down and errant knights get the axe.

Once upon a time, you caught me in a wrongheaded claim.
“I’ve killed sixty-eight men,” you said. “Nothing about me is young.”
Bad dogs and errant knights are always a bit undomesticated –
and me, too, giggling at a stake through the gingerbread man’s sugared heart.

You said, “I’ve killed men,” but what I remember is your Halloween party.
Games for Rambo, Buffy, Ozymandias’s wolves –
and me, too, giggling at a stake through the gingerbread man’s sugared heart.
Sixty-eight ghosts tugged their sheets and shifted apples as we bobbed:

Rambo, Buffy, wolves? Gone, and you with them.
The High Priestess of the Country Club presided over your exit, oblivious
there’s no sleep with sixty-eight souls tugging your threadbare sheets.
You growled in the wrong tone, in the direction of the wrong – – –


The High Priestess presided in a wrinkled shirt, and I was sad,
more human than dog,
unable to growl in any tone, in the direction of any
answer to a civilization that fears its own knight.

July, 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

Ozymandias of the Office

Ozymandias of the Office

I scale the King’s wrinkled lip
His half-sunk sneer just fits my crooked back
Day by day, we tender the desert’s high tide
Spill upon spill
                                           with sand fleas

day job/ missile silo/ sacred reliquary
The mourners lost the torso and the tongue
between His kingdom and today

stone nose/bald stone eyes/kneeless stone legs
Five radioactive canopic jars
These are my desk and my desk is an altar
Spill upon spill
                                      with sacrifice

I use the King’s amputated legs to thwak!
harvest-heavy trunks of traded hours

tumble        shake loose        but quiet, quiet

Colossus and I decay

Spill upon spill


July, 2016

Image Courtesy of Rajesh Misra

Back to the Bone Pile