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ISSUE:  Summer 2003

If titmouse wags her song at me again like a scolding finger—you-loco
   I aim to pop her,
then lie down among the cows and rusting tractors along the creekside,
while the bull soliloquizes like widower Macbeth.
   For the milk of human kindness doth flow from mine ears
and I have murderous thoughts
   against myself
because I didn’t grieve you better.

If that same murder of crows bobs the back field in their blackcoats
    like a convention of metaphysicians
muttering Kant-kant-kant-kant,
    I’ll give them one barrel of heaven, the other hell.
My buck fawn’s back legs yodel through the early morning plenary,
    my buck fawn runs their arguments reductio
loco. His tongue shinnies up their one-eyed sunflower stalks,
    his back talk pins their heavy-headed arguments to the ground.
Come winter I’ll eat my own hands before those oily axioms touch my mouth.

If bobwhite calls her lover’s name in her sleep at dusk,
    reminding me, again, I’m loverless, lonesome
as a criminal past, well, then—
    what? Make another meal of self-pity?
O World, blow your noise through the keyhole of me,
    so when Night walks by on its tip-toes with its ear to the wall of my
let it hear the loco-commotion
    of the bus stop at five-fifteen on any Friday afternoon!

I have a crazy angel in my throat.
   She grabs sorrow by the ankles, swings it round,
round in my mouth,
  until it’s a tale of childish fury,
signifying the best it can—
   a fluster of wings in the chimney, ashes sassing. Blood bird,
my bird, she eats the ashes;

these ashes are enough.


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