I write with a quill pen
Pulled from the backside of
A male cross-eyed porcupine
Who has known love only
Once. The pen is dipped in
An elixir, sublime and notorious
For its pigments processed
From the milk of the female
Green-spotted octopus. The
Only paper that I use is
Carolinian tan, produced by
A family of Cuban immigrants
Who harvest reeds on the Outer
Banks and bake their smooth
Sheets on the dunes of Kitty Hawk.
(after Isaiah 63:2-6)
Why are your shoes so red
Like those of a man who treads grapes?
“I tread out a vintage alone.
The people were not with me,
But I showed them my anger
And trampled them with my rage.
Their life-blood ruined my pants
And my clothing was stained.
I had planned a day of vengeance.
My year of achievement had arrived.
When I looked, no one was there to fight.
I stared the people in the eye,
But no one offered their son.
So my own arm brought a draft
And my own rage filled the trenches.
I showed the people my anger.
I made them drunk with my rage.
And trumpeted my glory to the heavens.”
Bullet in the head
Never lived long enough
To feel good about being dead
Damn you, Edward Arlington Robinson
And your sour explication
Damn your meter and rhyme
And your twisting knife
O sweet jocularity
that languishes in the hearts of poets
Buried deep beneath
starched collars and smooth shirts