From the Wolf

Your pack is so civilized.
You broil pork for your just-whelped pups.
Your prey is this thing called “the good life”
but you don’t stalk, don’t hunt it.
You merely wait around until it comes to you.

There’s nothing wild about your existence
Your fur doesn’t bristle.
You don’t throw your head back
and bay at the moon.
You gather your pack in almost silence.
Your noises don’t come close
to wailing hunger.
You have your mating cry
but it never has to leave the room.

I’m out here in the wilderness,
suffering through the weather cycles,
the days of near-starvation,
bloodily fighting off rivals,
avoiding the farmers’ guns.

But it’s a hard world for all of us.
Nothing delivers as we would wish.
Even times of plenty have famine at their core.
We live rough. We die unwanted.
I howl so you won’t have to.

We Will Just Love You

Girl in white dress
on pink piazza
with long blonde hah—.
poses for invisible artists
in brilliant Mediterranean light.

Here are the legs, she says silently.
Here is the face.
Here is the hand
turned outward and stretched
toward a bird from the sun.

Once her own,
she is now everybody’s,
an innate blossom,
a bowl of Cezanne fruit,
a cache of ’20 5s romance novels,
an incubator of divine sex.

A short journey from
the steps of the hotel,
unsure eye in a mirror,
now a presence felt deeply.


Just as she dropped me off curbside
to see how pitiful I look in the rain
just twelve drops in all—just one circle around me—
keep going. Right?
keep-to-the horizontal?
Kiss while we can—your cheek will do
kissing wind, knitting pines and knowing its own true scope
know where there’s a quick opportunity—who knows…who cares?
Across galaxies
a labyrinthine trunk of lace curtains lifting
laid off miners creep into land I saw mowed in rings
later leading to friction—learning to catch
I lay my badge on the stool, stare into the dark TV screen—
leave some space—leave the Persians alone.
leaves still furled and leaving dry brown ghosts behind
leaving me to mourn leaving two bars for a seat
left and right, like being in some other long lines dark tracks in the snow—
left out for the trash-man—left unplugged, legs slumped across
lemon and sugar, lesion in a neck, less and less do I buy into
her sleep in the bed she made blue, let it smother seeds I couldn’t see—
let me get a car. No—she says—no cars.
Please, let me see who’s going somewhere.
She strokes my smooth skin—I’ll save money on barbers—
life propped up heads between matching shoulder pads,
lifted out of our life, tricked by the day
and light that asks for nothing
but to lightens the leaves in the forest—
So light-rays curve with universe, light my shade like a pocket watch,
like a fish brimming in vastness.
or lilacs that have come by the moment
when a linear operator can’t help—

Keeping My Body Parts to Myself These Days

I haven’t gone all Van Gogh, sliced off my ear and mailed it to an old love in years. Nor have I jerked out my tongue in such a long time. These days, when I’m silent, it’s not through lack of options. And, in case you were wondering, my castrations are all deep in my past, likewise my amputations. Everything’s been stitched back into place, even my lips, those erstwhile kissing machines. I’ve been whole for what seems like an eternity. Lonely sure but all body parts intact, everything in working order. I’ve taken back the appendix from the one who borrowed it. I’ve retrieved the lungs from the dumpster

and my blood and bile from that job I worked in the early nineties. My heart, of course, we won’t go into. Yes, it’s been stolen, sold, given away, tossed in a woman’s face, booted down the sidewalk like a soccer ball. It would still be out there somewhere if I hadn’t retrieved the blessed thing, secured in a safe place. And these days, it beats as if nothing has ever happened. You may wonder how I survived for such a long time without it. Actually, my mind assumed most of its important duties. I’d have given it away too except, for the longest time, I didn’t think I had one.