Monday, January 18, 2010

Poem Of The Day


In anniversary, I took a box cutter & slit
the jute mat’s web of hay & smoke
& thrust a handful of manure into the wound
with a bulb of horsemint.
Under the windows of recovering men
in rooms quieted, the desiderata
of their blood slowing, we plant goldenrod
& butterfly bush on this ledge
of the converted convent.
The nuns of 182nd & Valentine
hollowed out these rooms as Saint Simon
lived years in a broken, living
tree waiting for the Virgin, who he called
by her other name: little rain
cloud. I knock the spade
against the copper, wipe clean the blade
on my jeans, the dung of camel,
gorilla, & ostrich bright in my nose,
a night soil we carted from the zoo
to be mixed with compost & ground-down
liter bottles. Yesterday, the elephants
were on hunger strike after a new cow
was placed in their pen. They huddled
under the turning maples—almost
as if they were asking to be tried for something
they knew they must have done—
while the lone elephant
lowered her trunk into a drum of water
& it began to rain.
by Colin Cheney
(from Guernica mag)

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