Or: Hemingway’s “The wrists were thin”
A man lived in the woods and all lonesomeness was poison to him.
His mountain hardly served him, high as it was with only the music
of calls and chirps and narrated matings he couldn’t play with.
There was blood he found and he found floor stuff. He walked on
chirping for a lady out there and came to a birch, or a birch
he thought was a birch but might well have been an oak. He lived
seven years in the city and knew better of buildings than of roots.
What we call a man is a simulacrum of a two-armed two-legged being.
A mouth to feed, an ass to whip. Whether it ever walks or not
is up to Nature, soothsayer her, deep in the alcohol she spoke of.
Oh, hell, it must have jazzed his bored story to thrilling.
It quipped about what a man needs to his mother, near cripple,
near squalling in the old age her son would never know about.
What an obvious killing will do. At fifteen, when all other
things will happen by the senile clock of all other creatures,
lungs green with grass, brains so built by sweat it folds
to the shape of the back of a man’s knee, him killer him,
he steamed and squealed like a piston on the back porch
in a cool night staring at none but him and hacked down
he turned those little pine boards into a scripture’s lesson.
Deep velvet, deep down in a sinning, deep, down deep in teaching.