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Impassioned, I’M

ISSUE:  Winter 2003

Desperate for open-heart poetry, an infusion of lusts
 High in viscosity, some grief to burst through my chest
And rend me insensate—oh savage muse, free me from all

Tame poesy, every pretentious line which dreams of flowering
 Into verse. I want to gnaw down to the meat of things, bite
Through the fat, teeth to bone. My neighbor who just tore

Past me in his suburban assault vehicle, and who thinks I’m
 A quart low on brain fluid, is another reason for uncivilizing
My words, yes, letting my tongue run off with the wild dogs.

Plato has led us to the rock quarry and I wonder where are
 The monstrous, yellow earth-movers and four-story cranes
Which gobbled out this ground, where are the rapists with

Their hardhats and clipboards? As we descend strata after
 Gouged strata into the pit, to the mucousy-green pool, past
Fossilized mollusks and ferns, I wonder what remains of the

Sauk who once lived here, what chants might rise if we released
 Them from this rock? What energies brewing for centuries inside
All this glacial lather would erupt if we opened a blow hole?

How sulphurous and foul the water we pause to mourn. Someone
 Has dumped a bedspring, carpet, some rotted mash festering
With flies. Someone has thrown in several tires, and beer cans,

A styrofoam cooler. Even Plato, who tests with his nose, but
 Doesn’t drink, knows what sadness lies just under the surface
Of everything. This is where we strip off our skins and dive in.


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