The Girl with the Leash
doesnít appear to worry much
about its other end. Fun-loving, power-
mad, a thoughtlessly
vindictive woman of action, the perfect
Abu Ghraib patsy. Already
an irresistible wave of
retribution gathers behind her
back, curling above her bobbed
head. Her leash, poor child,
connects to the nearly-wriggled-
out pin of a fragmentation
will use the body as a hand
towel, shred her like paper
clean on her fatigues.
If she were paper I
would write upon her
atrocity photo my
implausible disavowals, my
poems of innocence.
Here under her left nipple,
and again across her smooth-shaven
mons Veneris, I would inscribe
anti-war protests, my solidarity
with the oppressed. Poet,
not a shooter of rifles, I do
what I can with the time
at my disposal. But we
are attached, possessing
An earlier version of this poem appeared on the Pemmican Press website.
Preferably, life slowly erodes like
lying on a neatly-made bed, back
aching just a little, petting the old cat
before our nap. Yesterday I read
with amusement about Bokudo, an 18th
Century sword-sharpener and writer
whose favorite subject was drowsiness.
His fame stems from one haiku concerning
new leaves of a spring morning.
It concludes, no wonder Iím sleepy.
My buddy also laughed, but pointed
out that, given his job, Bokudo couldnít
nod off during long hours at work and expect
to keep all his fingers. Two weeks ago,
gazing aimlessly toward trees, I
sliced my thumb cleaning a pocket knife.
An earlier version of this poem appeared in a set of three entitled "Relative
Unknowns" published in the chapbook More Questions Than Answers