Yellow Dog Dingo

for Marissa when times are tough

In the bad lands is yellow dog dingo and

yellow dog dingo is hungry-hungry and
yellow dog dingo is dry-dry.

Yellow dog dingo is hunting for days and
yellow dog dingo is running fast-fast and
yellow dog dingo is having no luck.

Yellow dog dingo runs to the end of the bad lands and
yellow dog dingo comes to the plains and
yellow dog dingo is awash in green-green and
yellow dog dingo eats in blue, drinks in green.

Yellow dog dingo eats itself slow-slow and
yellow dog dingo drinks itself tired-tired and
yellow dog dingo makes itself a nest in the grasses and
yellow dog dingo rings a circle round it thrice and
yellow dog dingo sleeps at last-last.

Michigan

For OW

Michigan has a doctor and the doctor has a daughter that loves him.
“I am going to be a doctor, too,” she tells him.
He and his wife are so so proud.

She is studying.
He calls her home on the weekends, and they talk.
Medicine, politics, world war.
He loves her mother’s mind in her.

War breaks out overseas.
“I am going over there,” she tells him.
He and his wife are so so proud.

There is a picture they have.
She is crisp and brave in her nurse’s uniform.
Weeks later she is dead.
A falling shell has killed her dead.

Michigan has a doctor and the doctor has lost his daughter.
He blames himself.
His wife blames him too.
“You and your politics,” she cries.
“Me and my politics,” he cries.

He can’t look at his wife.
She reminds him of his daughter.
She can’t look at her husband.
He reminds her of her daughter.

First they fight.
Then they grow still.

Michigan has a doctor and the doctor is a drunk.
He moves to the city and drinks, drinks, drinks until he is poor.
He tries to drink himself to death.

A mad man finds him in a bar.
“There is a man,” he says, and shows the doctor a gun.
The doctor sews the man up, his hands shaky, shaky.
The man lives or close enough.
A man pays him, and he drinks, drinks, drinks.

Michigan has a doctor and the doctor is corrupt.
Never rich enough to die, never poor enough to live.

Hetty’s Forgotten Children

for Hetty

Out of nothing, something.

They have studied long hours and dark to learn these secrets.
To strike the rock and bring forth sweet water;
to lay hands upon a barren sector and call forth wealth.

From nothing to nothing.

Quickly gained, and quickly lost, they
are masters of the black swan, the unforeseen,
the unknown unknowns.
They live where the smooth curves diverge,
where the lines stutter, break, and fall out of memory.

Nothing is but what it is said to be.

Like all such Adams, they name things.
By naming things, they force them to be.
“This is so,” and it is.
“This is priced so,” and it is.
They have their colleges, their meeting-rooms, their mirrored ateliers.

Black wings strike against the atmosphere.

A ragged space, echthroi,
mockeries of the angels with their many eyes
the wings that fan the fires
the ragged voice that calls the world into being.
Faster than thought, limited only by the speed of light.
Light bends away from their impossible weight.
A caesura in the endless sentence.

The laborer is worthy of his hire.

They do not build; they neither sow nor reap.
They are the whirlwind that threshes out the corn
The flail that beats upon the grain.

Orientation

You may wish to read this story and this one to find out what follows.

The tower has no top and no bottom but stretches endlessly away in either direction.
Cats nest in the vines that soften the gray stone and speak fairy tales.

They file into the classroom.
Rows of old desks aglow with light, golden smooth with nervous hands’ polishing.
It is the first day, and they are six:
Erica, Janet and Rachel on one side of the aisle;
Jillian, Sheila and Colleen on the other.

The professor walks in, black robes spread behind her like penguin wings.
She keeps her hair short, and her enemies shorter–
this at least is the gossip among the infinite dorms.
Vines have taken root and curl greenly from her collar,
from her cuffs,
peep from under her hem.

She takes the podium.
“So,” she says,
“You are come, all of you,
I trust,
with a deep love of learning
and a deep ambivalence for action;
you have come to pry under rocks,
to finger slime,
to tickle the underside of the universe.
Noble goals.
And I will teach you–
and others will teach you–
of many things. Of secrets ways,
hidden chants,
the thousand rules of power.
You will know, and you will see,
and what you see you shall never again unsee.”

There is a pause.

“So,” she says,
“Let us begin.”

Cilia

This is an image post. Inspiration for this sketch came from this image.

She is many things to many men.
Whatever they want her to be.
Quiet for this one, argumentative for that one.
Chaste, demure, aggressive, wanton, demanding.

She has many skills, whatever she needs.
She understands books, movies, ideas well enough to have them explained to her.
She can cook perfectly well, but she’s always happy to go out instead.
She doesn’t mind dancing.
She can sing, slightly, prettily.

She’s never alone.
She’s always in a group, laughing, drinking, shouting.
They crowd the tables in the late night diners, close out the bars, throng the streets.
She’s always drinking, never drunk.
She’s a good sport.

She keeps her teeth sharp.
She’s on a diet.
She doesn’t like the sunlight.
She doesn’t mind the night.
All her pets die young.
Her plants don’t survive much longer.

Radios play horrible static when she’s nearby.
Crows take screaming to the skies when she closes car doors.
Her old apartments have all burned down under suspicious circumstances.
No one knows what happened to her parents.
She keeps jars of rosemary, foxglove, coriander under her bed.

She’s been married seven times.
She never keeps her name.
She’s bad with money.
There’s always more.

She likes high places, streetlamps, roof gardens, obelisks.
She perches there on moonless nights and looks down.
Her hair shadows her face.
The streetlights sway beneath her taloned feet.
She is many things to many men.