Wednesday, September 26, 2007

War Babies

The bullets whistle like crickets. Down water
the small children huddle not by a fire
where potatoes blacken on twigs but under stones
like rodents gnawing the air and aroused for a split-
second deciding. The trampling down bushes,
the leaves cracking, the branches bent back
like whips . . . the forest is squeezing them till they pop.
They draw a bead on the encroaching brogans
and, listen, you hear the clicks of the hammers and the eyes
rising as a steam bubbles from the dirt from sheer
friction. There is no fear here in the seeds
because learning was a one-room detonation
called birth. There is nothing to imagine
and no toys but wounds, and what is dead
was not living. Suffer them for the kingdom is seething,
and like lizards on extended legs lunging
forward and backward, they know the rudiments
of behavior and are satisfied when the night screams.

(This poem appeared in The Minnesota Review.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sanitation Jubilee

I am collector of garbage. The green dawn
and the yellow-good sun settle and clang the full
side of my face moving east. Oh, pull
of the primrose truck, you flowering warm and brusque,
you with your jonquil charm and the new musk
aroma of love, I surge forward with bull-
like proportion towards can and can and fling the wool-
weak effeminate garbage a-truck and toss the husk
away on the soulless ground. Oh glorious morn,
when the quiet city is mine and the pristine day
hasn't begun to burgeon the dead thorn
of the pale commuter, I arise I ascend in your gay
profusion of meaning and plunge heroic and sworn
through the golden morning, reposing in the stars of noon.

(This poem appeared in The Harvard Advocate.)