Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rabbit Hunting--by J.F.

We are bumped along
                an elephant’s back worth of hill,
wearing collared flannels, brassgrommeted boots, and threadcuffed jeans,
                old oil sloshing in a tire,
                                two hands clutching a riflestock and
a shiveringlipped cigarette hovering over a palmcircled barrel;
                sucked cherries waning pink in mist
pocketing the constant “What’s –wrong?” of old friends
                not being answered like dull down-a-hale huh-huh-hoots
                                of orange eyeballs scrimmed behind limbs.
There is so much wrong, even in this,
not that,
                                but who’s to say
it should reside in this fog light,
                right here and held in my right hands scanning
                                scanning right to left for a white tail fanning amarillo eyes,
or in this shoulder’s machine ejecting husks and things-would-ends for our amusement
                on some cold night when I can’t think of anything but feel that
                I have somehow slung a fresh yoke on my neck,
the Mule stopping, they kissing, and me wondering if they can feel
a liplock’s betrayal, not rape,
                                but somehow,
                                surely, things break-in.

                A skitter in the undergrass
                                and two shots with the light
                swinging in shaking hands,
                what’s bolting is gone
                                and crashing of the woods through shadowed
                                                                dead vines,
                                                                                                gnarled catalpa fields.
That I have known the heartbreak of shadows, or resilience of great oaks veiled in uncompromising fogs,
periwinkles of January nights and cold, the dead leaves slowly trundled under a grinding Mule
and .22 shells rattling like spoons on wood—

                                and yet known remains nothing—
                                                ‘nothing’ being only the white flag
                                                we throw,
                                for we are always prisoners,
                                                and like relationships or neckties,
                                trade one constraint for another,
                                                not saying how much our expensive meals
                                                feel like daily gruel,
                                                not saying that at times our socks feel like nails,
                                                                our shirts like Iron Lungs,
                                                or that we can find some Western desert that,
                in it’s open mesas, will not call us back to gecko’s dust.
                Happiness is not freedom, or if so, in an opposition—
only in what masters us do we supersede our submission,
and the buckshots that graze us trace out ecstasy,
                builds and ruins what scattered that only runs
or finds in some brackenhole what was there, as dark and before—
                chiaroscuro differentiates dynamism to joy.

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