The Pressure of Procrastination by Enoch Thompson

439px-Face_in_the_Pool-Knight_Fighting_Dragon

My teeth sting in my face, the gums feel like they could bleed,
but I don’t brush them, no, why do such a simple thing,
it would be a waste of time.  Instead I loaf,
waiting for the brilliance that’s rightfully mine,
waiting for a smell of joy, a salty tear running down to my nostril,
waiting for love as obvious as the warm hour of day when I’m out in the sun.
Maybe I’ll discover a new color when it happens merely by chance,
but I wait for greatness.

I could never be content with just a toothbrush in my hand.
Let that invisible sting at the bottoms of my gums, deep in my veins,
turn into a green tinge of growth, climbing up, climbing out.
Let me cry out in pain and rage when I eat.
Then with a scalpel, with rough-studded tools,
let me slay that dragon, and I’ll smile easier.

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Want to read more of Enoch’s poetry? Go here, here, and here.

Degrees of Coyoteness by Patricia Karamesines

Coyote_arizona

This is a rewrite of a post published here on WIZ that I’m including in my book Crossfire Canyon. I’m posting the rewrite today in response to finding a bounty-killed coyote on this morning’s walk.

April 8, 2009. As I walked out of a nearby canyon last week along a trail where I had previously encountered a curious coyote, my nose detected gases given off by putrefaction. Somewhere nearby, bacteria were at work breaking down formerly living tissue to simpler matter, dispersing an organism’s worldly good to its biological heritors.

To this we must all come. But who has come to it now, and where?

Walking deeper into the field of decomposition gases, I searched the ground, guessing what I would find. I was approaching the gravel pit, a dumping ground for domestic and wild animal carcasses and the scene of occasional war crimes of the sort some people commit against animals. It’s common to find coyote remains around the pit, along with elk and deer carcasses, tree prunings, the ashes of bonfires, articles of clothing, and aerosol cans–the residue of “huffing” parties.

My eyes had difficulty picking out the body of the coyote because his full winter regalia of desert-soils-hued fur blended in well where he had been dumped against the weathered juniper barricade a rancher erected decades ago to prevent cattle from wandering. I’m guessing the coyote was an adult male because of the animal’s size. Wind ruffled the luxuriant fur, and my own hand felt drawn to touch. But I didn’t. Touching the coyote might spark a response that under the circumstances I wasn’t prepared to support. Continue reading “Degrees of Coyoteness by Patricia Karamesines”

The Manger Scene by Patricia Karamesines

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Winter’s eve.
She smelled the season on him. Summer,
he came in redolent of horses
and wild mint; winter, copper and ice.
Metallic and snow-clean, he cooled the house.
Behind him, now, feathers of snow
bounced against black window glass.
The household breath smelled of pies and bread.
Shadows browned the cabin walls
and firelight varnished lintel beams
with grainy lights. She moved inside
her winter wools, wandering the scene
that was to be Christmas €”her part of it.
Satisfied, she drifted to
his side to watch him carve. His knife Continue reading “The Manger Scene by Patricia Karamesines”

Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle

Chairman Mao

My cat’s named €œChairman Mao €:*
She’s dropped the €œi € somehow.
She’s dropped the thing,
But, Marx bless Ming,**
Still has a frightful Yao.***

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The image above is a 2012 scan of a 1999 oil on oilcloth reproduction of a 1942 photograph of a late Victorian cameo of an early Victorian watercolour portrait of Chairman Mao’s maternal great-great-great-great-(yawn)-great-great-great … great-grandmother, who looked just like her, but was considerably more pleasant.

* Chairman Mao, otherwise known as Mao Tse Tung, is widely considered the founding ruler of the Chinese Communist Party, which is either revered or despised depending on the holiday and/or who’s looking over your shoulder.
The Miao people together comprise what is called an €œethnic minority, € and a fairly large one at that, which typically means they eat more interesting things than everybody else and are happy to invite you for dinner. They live in Southwest China, in Guizhou, Yunnan, Hunan, Hubei, and Hainan provinces, and in the formidable sounding Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. They believe that everything has a spirit, even Chairman Mao. Continue reading “Chairman Mao by Percival P. Pennywhistle”