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POETIC FLIGHTS 2

Page 22

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Poems about death and dark love poetry are listed on the index of poems

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poetry of struggle
poetry of humanity
I

Eating
is a reprehensible
habit
she righteously uttered.
With great effort
I've given up lobster
and beef,
and aspire to
absolute abstinence
from all things that twitch
fly
crawl
swim
and squeak.

II

Unfairness, I replied,
is a universal law,
a fact not altered by
repulsing
hooves and fins
and wonderful things
with beaks
and claws.
Being chicken
or duck
in the service of pate
and tasty homemade soup,
just plain bad luck,
I blithely chortled,
while severing the head
of my buttered snapper.

III

This much I see is true:
the morbid pleasure
you so effortlessly find
in pain and suffering
and scorning my views,
she blurted out--

IV

In a fatherly tone,
I calmly retorted:
Only humans have honed
the skill
to elevate themselves
above
the natural impulses
of protoplasmic stuff,
but under our clothes,
rest assured,
is revealed the naked
truth.
Pig or steer
herded into the biped's
belly,
except in quantity,
is no different--
you have to confess--
than the fly and beetle
seeking sanctuary
in the gut of the crow.

V

We're savages--
nothing more--
if we take that route,
she marvelously fumed,
while busily slurping up
her fresh leek soup.

VI

Had it cried,
I innocently asked,
when some brute,
to serve your pleasure,
savagely tore out
this onion's cousin
by its roots?

VII

You can laugh if you like,
she fiercely fired,
but a leek has
no heart
no soul.
There's a principle here:
once the killing
starts,
where in the name of God,
does it finally stop?

VIII

Her sermon dangled
on a pregnant pause,
as she bent toward
her salad plate
and maliciously
poked
at a helpless bean.
Tell me please,
I modestly asked myself,
what sort of
new evolving species
dining with me is this,
who
barely an hour before
indecently spread out
on the kitchen floor,
engorged and panting,
now conceptualizes
mammalian biology
as a perversion
unbecoming of higher minds?

IX

What you so quickly
dismiss,
I barked with disdain,
made possible our
glorious birth.
Lest you forget,
it governs the perfect
balance
of the protein world--
life eating life,
life eating
itself,
and without
this gift,
you can damn well bet
we would all discover
ourselves
permanently screwed.

X

Your philosophizing,
as usual, she snorted,
justifies all,
vigorously
vibrating her fork.

XI

I was in perilous danger
of leaping
up
and charging forth,
with soothing visions
of pointed tines
planted in her throat,
but miraculously
bit on my tongue
and meekly said,
not wanting to spoil
the strawberry torte:
Quite right, my dear.

XII

Have you ever,
by chance
happened to notice,
she coyly quipped,
when a man has
no rebuttal,
he sanctimoniously
pretends
to agree?

XIII

Is that what you think?
I pathetically bleated,
caught by surprise,
then boldly rebounded,
with brutal wit:
Truth is not always
quite what it seems--

XIV

But in that very instant,
I sharply winced,
my stream of thought
sorely disrupted
by a more urgent affair:
a wicked bony needle
avenging itself
on my civilized gums.

You see, that's what you get,
she smugly jabbed,
with a tongue
sharp as a butcher's knife--
in the end our evil deeds
always come home to roost.

poems of humanity
In the red dust
just south of Sleepy Hollow
it uncoiled
its intelligent spoor.

Near the Tigris
pieces of soldier and child
rained down—

our sacred fictions
keep us grounded.

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