July 15, 2008


I wanted to bury him here in mud or
deep woods, sober him first & raise his
dull senses to the least animal cognition
of smallness then maim him from
pissing to speech, squinching both to slow
trickles and pain—let him speak
into his own pants, I thought, his liver sodden
to foam, heart founder, enlarging
only to a need for forgiveness that maketh
even mongrels children
of God. But the poem does not see
me as Black Shirt, alone
or with accomplices, though I still play out
the basement in my mind, chair, straps, pliers
and funnel. One man to an ankle, one
for each wrist, one at the neck—
wedging the jaw open. The poem holds
us back as though this one were
precious to it, a filament of
dullest noon didn’t shine too brightly
upon this head, I were not my grandfather’s
kind, didn’t carry mare nostrum
in my breast as fiercely, the sister kidnapped
in a dream of pirates was never
mine to save, even if prayer jinxed us
I had no right to ask the poem stand by, a poem
by nature cannot put anyone to death but
makes every breath a juror to thought, thinking
made us brothers or the only penalty
it may execute must restore or kill us
both—like castor oil whose great power
wells up in the gullet as reason.

—Nick Regiacorte

Posted by dwaber at July 15, 2008 01:13 PM