There is no cat I will not try to paw
Despite the nails and teeth of tiger cubs,
A thing set in when kittens drew on bubs
Of our old cat, who fanged them in her jaw.
If you are not on fire with your god,
But big, but GOD, you cannot really see
What you proclaim to see from lines in books.
Eternal anything (even hopelessness)
Is something systemed through your human spine,
Not a Sunday cakewalk and a song.
Yodel Sunday songs from morning benches,
Bog your body down in weekend breast,
But then admit the show is just a service.
If you don't drop your coffee and your pension
And run among the living and the dead,
You do not see the end you say is waiting.
I leave this pizza box to the future:
Here is how we lived. Poor people
And rich machines cooked for us
According to recipes handed down
From shift to shift, meals made
Of the third-freshest remains of a
Cross-continent truck ride and
Served by bored Pakistanis too
Far from Rawalpindi to care whether
Our pink throats choke on the crust.
Bollocks are a very silly thing
To hang upon a nervous knife;
They brew the polliwog of life
A few degrees below my boiling.
The cat across the road from our bus stop
Still looks impossibly backward along the
Asphalt flat between it and me, and does
Not wonder that cars move faster than life.
It's a difficult thing to balance getting drunk
Half the night and hard-headed half the morning,
And, when you've had enough of clear thinking,
Getting drunk again. My favorite state
Is in between, when I am good for neither.
On the water between Vancouver and Vancouver
Island in a fat family motor boat with two engines
Blowing smoke, I, temporary pilot, shut down the
Throttle and we stopped.
There was no gliding. We dropped into the hole
We'd been cutting in the water, jerked forward
In our seats like I had stepped on the brakes
And parked. Quiet. Outrun by our own smoke.
There is no coast between Vancouver and Vancouver.
Each hundredflight of bird or beam of tree
Reduces me to her, lifts her to me;
Reveals her leg as long for trail and hill,
Her ear as keen for making tale from thrill.
She translates, her to me, the beak and teeth,
Each breath discovered in the underneath,
The etching claws uncurled from the throat
And life sufficed from note to note to note.
Up through the trees she watches dragons rise,
Then snuffs their fire and wears their winged disguise,
And strings their bones still steaming in the cold
And moves through brush to find their hidden gold.
We don’t go back; she stays to guard the ore
And I am ghosted home and whistled for.