My mind in this heat is a bloated dog,
I drive, fins in the arid between.
My debut is here, in the banked log
kicked and squished by sheen.
My house burns, the rooms ameliorate,
and I lock the dragged form to lone farms.
My back is at the moving gate,
a nuisance I want to hurt and harm,
and fill in with red embattled circles.
What is this empty, signifying hellbent story,
that must be filled with ridicule?
Idiots preside in the naked cottonwood of glory.
Women should know better.
Blind beauty before the unopened letter.
I sent the goat of my stubbornness off to Azazel
but that goat kept coming back
tapping on the door with hairy hoof.
So, I marked the goat urgent and read me first
and sat back in the tavern among red cups, victorious.
But the goat returned and stood dumbly
in the courtyard, where a child scratched its forehead of coarse hair,
and it bleated a frustrated groan
that sounded like what grass might scream,
when pulled from the roots, separated from tender ground.
Outside the goat goofily chewed,
inside I slammed tables and sent books skyward
and in a lavish, enraged script wrote to Azazel:
Look, will you not take this expiated fucking goat,
according to agreed procedure, off my stiff neck!
Night fell and at three stars
I opened my shutters and the goat stood at my very bed
and (though no one will believe me) opened its long lips
and said (in the voice of an actor) Listen, pilgrim
I am now and have always been
a herder of shepherds, sending them into the high mountains,
looking for the old fragments. I pray from my pupils,
which see panoramically, with minimal blind spots
and kneel to where I am going
based on the map of where I have been.
Many times from a rooftop
the red chimneys, brick and iron,
stubbed from so many fiery lengths.
I command what I cannot control,
the sun, if I rise first. I am the original
pukka, an unknown match.
Over lands I defy gravity, all graves,
the hollow bone suffused with red blood,
my own tremor and disdain.
Now the day is filling with its problematic
proofs, snakes uncurling around the fruit.
Remember, even when memory unglues
all my resolution on the revolving roof,
I touched clouds while clear-minded,
I would never go into my temple, drunk.