Saturday, September 26, 2009


With the possible exception of
a dog stretching his
limber neck through a speeding
car window, jabbing his snout into the
aroma-feast of the world’s passing
velocity breeze, wet nose
perusing the Sears catalog of its living
scents, nothing in nature
(and, yes, isn’t this nature too)
appears more orgiastically
self satisfied than a
McNeill River grizzlybear.

Think of the river
as a Southern California freeway
for fish: but this isn’t a Hollywood movie, and
the bear isn’t Jackie Gleason,
and none of the salmon even remotely resembles
Burt Reynolds.

As fast food goes,
McDonald’s has nothing
on this: wriggling silver-scaled missiles
of saliva-stoking flesh just a

It is a church
of sorts, their house
of worship, and they populate its banks
at standoffishly respectful distances,
like a small congregation of furry
Episcopalians in a remarkably
mammoth cathedral of unstained glass.

Admittedly, there is no Bear-
naise sauce, no cole slaw,
no french fries, not even
tartar sauce or mayo,
and the wine cellar,
sans sommelier, is distinctly
sub-par. But the bears are nonetheless,
inordinately full of
themselves, and strangely aware of the
luxury of not having to carry
hardhats, or lunchboxes,
or even to stuff brown paper bags into
leather attache cases, or to worry about
shattering the silvered linings
of Thermos bottles. The exceptionally
white noise from the rolling field
of the water’s ornately scalloping surface,
the glimmering spears of shine
flashing from its liquid
mirror, the grizzlies appear to have such a
refined awareness of this
you could be forgiven for imagining them
devotees of Rousseau.

For them a mouthful of fresh fish
is something radically foreign to us,
the jawlocked death throe of twenty pounds of
squirming, ichthyous, blood-squirting thrash-flap;
and though they can make do
without the chirping hi-tech beep
of barcode scanners in the checkout line,
and perhaps do not miss the convenience of having
someone else to clean and bone their fillets,
there is a kind of clumsiness in the
bulk of their supersized morsels, as if
a bear’s reach was destined always to exceed
its mouth’s grasp, a fact that
conveys a faint longing
for better tools, some silverware or at least
a butcher’s cleaver
to reduce this nourishment
to more digestible
proportions. Like the words of a language,
rendering the stuff of fantastic appetites
into manageable, fork-sized

Sunday, September 20, 2009


The LTV blastfurnace
Bessemeres the night
with the tattoo of death's galloping
quarterhorse. The
bills for borrowed time come due in
typeface without serifs, mandays
brimming with camouflage,
and the craniometric vainglory of
dead Dakotan presidents.

No Ariadnean thread
escapes this callousing labyrinth,
where the canonized smokestacks
scathe the boreal winds,
cold as flamethrowers. Miles of
flanged steam rivet breath in
portable green oxygen bottles of

Without a living-
will, bureaucracy demands
they intubate.
Without a living-will bureaucracy
translates the soul into narrow-gauge plastic
catheters, and bedpans.
Without a living-will bureaucracy
expands to fill the last scrag of leathery hide,
and bodily fluid.

Squirting from behind the
bulletproof plexiglass and
the bootless burglarbars on the nursery,
patched from the moonshine
of belt-fed, air-cooled, semi-automatic
placebos, perfused by the
aquatint of in-habited scrip
the crash of the rote we touch,
imbibe the foam of the rift.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who would Jesus torture?

Who would Jesus torture?
Who would Jesus rape?
Why would Jesus murder?
Who would Jesus hate?

Who would Jesus carpetbomb?
Why would Jesus shoot?
Who would Jesus waterboard?
Who electrocute?

Who would Jesus slander?
When would Jesus rob?
Who would Jesus subjugate,
in the name of a merciful God?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Building More Butterflies

If the butterfly's flapping wings in northern China,
if the butterfly in the ozone
of a billion exhausts,
if the butterfly, craving love as it
transmits its desperate
anterior to thought,
demolish Hoboken,
isn’t it at least
that the executive director of the free world,
armed with ten thousand million tons
of dynamite, armed with two and a half million jail cells,
armed with 300 million
television sets, could,
menace a teenage mother
with hunger and loneliness,
prostitution and broken teeth,
drug addiction and the livid,
tattooed insignias of a
domestically violent

Can I even say
that the butterfly is
the leader of the free world,
that I
am the butterfly.
That I have no wings,
that my lips and tongue have become
butterfly wings,
and that there is no
free world?

Motionless, reserved, reticent,
basted in the fly ash of fossilly-fueled
smokestacks, perfumed by
the imported bayonets of most-favored-nations,
the butterfly's unflapping wing,
the butterfly's lifeless wing,
the butterfly's recklessly indecisive wing,
devastates Boise,
pulverizes Assissi,
and breaks into
smile like a summer breeze
on the skin of a dozen lovers
in Central Park.

And I without wings am the butterfly's inability
to decide. I am the cascading catastrophes
of the unsaid. The hidden clauses of amorous
fraud, the needless
loneliness of love whose words have not stolen

The supply of disaster forever exceeds
the demand.

The hurricane will build
more butterflies.

As many wings as tongues.

And I read the night sky like a newspaper,
but one with no advertising,
the spectacular arrival
of the past, forever
beginning forever