augury doggerel

Saturday, January 31, 2004


A three-legged dog is a funny thing, especially a three-legged dog outrunning a bus, and this one seems to know it. He's a stretch of a dog with flapping ears and maybe a smile or a laugh and just three legs. He wants to run again after buses. And this, I understand.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Ain't I Biotic?

Penicillins, first one, then another, then another mopping up, racing swamp buggies along my murky alimentary canal and leaving nothing moving in their wake. There are rumbles of resistance in the midgut, but peristalsis is shut down all along the line. No one gets out of me alive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004


The woman sits and knits, cross-legged and slippered, and makes a lion's mane from sheep's wool. The kid's school carnival party is tomorrow. I scoff a practice doughnut, bellyache about nought, and tally up -lent words: acidulent, corpulent, crapulent, feculent, flatulent, flocculent, fraudulent, indolent, insolent, malevolent, mucopurulent, pestilent, purulent, repellent, sanguinolent, truculent, turbulent, violent, virulent.

Friday, January 16, 2004


The kid holds two impatient animals at arm's length. Her grandmother, the old nine-toed carny, makes them stand en pointe and learn the eighty-eight-step for competition. But the kid makes a break for it, plays with a cat, bangs her head on a chair. A light bop, but enough.


Wah! I try to activate the Phleg-Matic but it's too late. Screaming is anything but piano.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


While I'm distracted with the source of all my rivers, the fjords in my skull fill with berserkers pounding drums.

Monday, January 12, 2004


You find yourself, if you find yourself me, contemplating your lack of a navel, your exploding head. You find yourself sitting alone and cranking out grumbles to no one. While no one's listening, you explain that 'yeah' is slang for 'yes', that 'ya' is how they say yes in a different country, and that 'yea' sounds like the 'yay' of a hurrah but is a vote in the affirmative. Then you imagine people sitting in the dark, saying yeah? with the right spelling.

So you remind them that the only music they want is still what the music companies make them want. You remind them not to blog about blogging (or telephone about telephoning, or watch television about watching television). You remind them that leftover is not the same as left.

But the meter's running. So you bill drivers by distance times speed times weight times empty seats. You bill air passengers by standing them and their bags on a scale before take-off. You bill cell-phone calls by the phone's nearness to 'quiet beacons' at places that should be quiet.

Then, when things are quiet, you tell poets to try writing poetry without resorting to a theory or method. And you find yourself sitting alone, thinking of someone you knew before something you must have said about scrimshaw or futhark.

Friday, January 09, 2004


I don't go to doctors. If a part falls off, I try to stick it back on or I kick it under the couch. My entrails, though, have been fighting to leave my body through my navel, and my entrails are winning. I push back, but they insist.

Then this week my head started spinning � it's spinning now, like I'm drunk without alcohol, seasick without the sea � and I started imagining ruptured or strangled guts and the poisoned blood squirting through my brain.

The clinic, it turns out, is clean and full of friendly women. They smiled and poked me in the belly and X-rayed my skull and looked way into every hole in my head. And my head, as they showed me on the screen, is simple; they can fix the thing with cheap drugs.

But my belly, they need to slice open � if it's cool, will I steam? � they need to stretch and clamp and sew. Or my guts will one day leave me, just slip through my loose conjunctions.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004


I was up all night listening to Concrete Mary when a light blued the east, announcing the season of breakfast. A white slice goes in, a black slice comes out, and the smoke rises to burn the eyes, for the daily bread of man must be black, as black is the soul of man without first partaking. Brown is one sock, for we have done no laundry.

Sunday, January 04, 2004


I don't love her, not like this. It keeps her fevered and flushed and abed, makes her talk in leaps in her dreams. Then she is up, then she says she is over it, then she's sweating in her sleep again and rolling up all the covers. I make tea and watch for birds in the kitchen.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Fanny Farmer

A who-er down in where-ville this holiday season with red bushy hair who I've seen with an old fooreign mahn is here again with another round, thanks. I don't out of courtesy acknowledge her but by the secret glance. I wonder if she'll cook his chicken like she promised the last one, who whispered it stuffed and basted and eaten steaming.