The Animal and the Edible

               In many instances, a Screw does what nothing else can do.


Love is a temple I cannot enter, a neon-glowing city
breathing eager daggers under icy water, throwing up signs that
go over my head as I wander bearded like a
philosopher, torn between choosing to be devoured by either a


lion or a panther, pride and lust’s untrustworthy metaphors, beasts
more burdensome to sinners than guilt is or god’s giving
us the finger, peripatetic as I wonder how I came
to be so pathetic, pleasure’s self-fulfillment now only tragically prophetic,


boredom’s portent warning me that any more-of-this is more-than-enough, too
much, in fact, for one so intelligent, a wildly unpopular
poet lonely as an urban-encroached forest, an advocate for no
one wasted by a hellish bullet of sweat sent against


the treble of my future husband’s far-off thunder, an argument
in favour of licentiousness debased by friendship’s foulest weather, stolen
taste of my Self made flesh in another, my fingers
lift to my lips what looks like winter yet tastes


of summer, lightning shot through the æther, springs of salt
garnishing the dish of his dimpled chin with sprigs of
satin, velvet strings of sin milked from the ashes of
angels who guarded better men before falling, thrashing against the


floor smouldering torrents of lukewarm moments tormenting the truant hearts
of my misfortune’s disparate brethren, bitten pillows pouring snow over
them, folding poison into the marrow of shrinking bones blankets
of silence wrap in shadow, loose-lipped shapes of deflated fantasies


filling the trash bags of a thousand borrowed tomorrows, clouds
of foreign tongues flowing into broken mouths, scarred by tragedies
unknown, we speak without speaking the same nonsense as wisdom,
whose invisible college she teaches in silence, at once a


hunter and a conquest, an experience and its immediate regret,
exuberant light swallowing darkness like a circle completing itself, a
crow over whom dusk has flown, two movements turning to
an irreversible conflagration one revolution I’ve tried to out-run thirty-one


times around the sun, the dawn chorus of songbirds warning
us without words that this eating of flesh, drinking of
blood is not the feast of a man at home
both in the library and in the world, my pen


runs riot, victimizing itself with bad timing, imprudent as it
is defiant, ink sacrificing the seeds of ideas to feed
vices in need of sanctifying, warding off with what turns
me on those lethargic automatons accustomed by convention to more


subtle expressions of what’s typically never mentioned, however, those born
to create have no need of the world, it needs
them, so, unlettered plebeians, fettered as you are like prisoners
to your perpetual need to pander to the approval of


your peers, take pleasure to hear my opinion, dripping into
thoughts again what sordid filth from my unwashed head I
manifest, mixing without filtering my unsafe messages, a blurring and
crossing of lines haptic and devious, foraging for warm skin,


a hand that can’t understand the heart, it’s been said,
loses command of the mind, becomes indifferent to the wilderness
its distance creates around it, never contesting her illusion, contentedness
with loneliness paints insanity-masquerading-as-freedom less-ludicrous, factual, fictive, or unapologetically feigned,


liberty is an untamed and experienced lady bathing in dollars
which are not hers but ours, taken from us when
we purchase lies like whores, free only until your first
time blinds you to your own innocence a misperception of


urgency purloins, oblivious to the crime when she fines you
for calling her your wife, takes virginity as a penalty,
and makes you envy the immortality of obscenity’s controversy, driving
you crazy, making you crave an orgasm’s death the way


the underworld’s chasm craves life, swallowing as I am now
and have been since, a bitter recklessness of headless torsos,
tasting an Atlantic of sea-changing faces where smiles drown, all
the guys I did know I’ve been done, I’ve gotten


down, whoever said A’s for effort never had to wear
Adultery’s crown (and neither have I…), suffering, instead, its unkindness
blinded by entrusting the allegèd tenderness of my heart’s hardening
flesh to the sharpest knives of the otherwise dullest pricks.

1John Dee, “[The Art of Heliocosophy]” of his “Preface to Euclid (in Modern English)” in The Works of John Dee: Modernizations of His Main Mathematical Masterpieces by Jim Egan, published at Newport, Rhode Island by Cosmopolite Press in 2018; page 182 [folio 34 (c.iiij.verso) of the original printing of 1570].