There's something about you,
Like a Vonnegut tale,
A beautiful thing
With odd little quirks
Around every corner
And in every page.
A glowing light
That sometimes flickers
There's something about you,
That's just out of reach.
So it goes.
If fools could speak of geometry,
you would be the right angle,
while me, obtuse,
I find light in the darkest places,
where the glint of the moon turns back time,
I look back,
And find you cloaked in fog,
traipsing towards me,
with no rhyme,
strafing while they bleed,
we are cogs in the handset,
we are all lost teeth,
broken and shattered,
fallen to those underneath.
I was young
and you gave me words
and entertaining plots.
I spent so much time
looking at the way you write
and looking at the way you phrase
and wishing I could do the same.
Now I have my own phrases
All because you planted want.
so it goes, he said, over and again.
and she knew he only said it to remind her
of her own duty dance with death
but she still wished she had never given him that book.
yeah, well, she said, i want to stay
as close to the edge as i can without going over.
yes, he said. big, undreamed-of things –
the people on the edge see them first.
I would like to start out saying thank you for all the work you made
for thoughts side comments in your books that make me want to have met you
I would just like to let you know that people are still reading your books
and if I may say you are a true writer that will last past my death
and you inspire me to be the same
so thank you
a true lover of your work
— for the American Mustang
Strung up on one leg, bled dry while alive,
unloaded off trailers crammed full
of the crippled and blind —mares
giving birth on three legs, foals trampled
by stallions, and a wave of fear
hovering over tossing manes
like the sea after Moby Dick surfaced
for the first time. Last year,
135,000 horses died —
rounded up in hundreds and sent
off to slaughter like feeder goldfish,
three stops from Canada
or Cabo, displaced from plains
once revered for their livelihood.
In 1969, Vonnegut
wrote, “And so it goes…”
In 2061, our children will ask about the wild
horses who used to live in their backyards
as they catch the last fireflies and bottle
them up in jars, flickering and dying
like tired bulbs giving up on electricity —
2015 sees Henderson, Nevada grasses paying tribute
to power-plant-lines and a suburb built
on Tralfamadore fiction: house-mounds
and picket fences caging domesticated dogs,
curb-lined streets and caution signs, billboard
warnings of humanity’s fixation with progression,
combined like coffee with an overabundance
of half-and-half and too much sugar — only 99 cents
at Dunkin down a little ways, and home
to the dreamers who forget the word freedom.
Some people endeavor to portray a persona.
Some people perpetuate the beliefs of their parents.
Some people pretend to be somebody they've seen on TV.
Some people have trouble accepting that they're actually existing.
Some people perceive themselves as being unlike anyone else.
Some people have an aversion to personality profiling.
Some people just can't help themselves.
Some people feel a need to place everyone they've ever known into categories.
Man got to tell himself he understand."
billy pilgrim knows
knows what will
happen to me he
breathes down my
neck warm and
gentle my skin
stepping into the
there is no why
plaids and dead
sheep have appeared
skin shields shilled
by the new age saviors
as everything crumbles
around me meat hooks
and bungee cords
billy pilgrim has
come unstuck in time
every look is a story
every story is too short
unless stretched to
and fragile tangled
in my hair like cobwebs
or a month of wearing
the same black hat
a bug trapped in amber
i am my legs eyes and
mouth and a broom
sweeping invisible hairs
and on the first day
of the barbarian invasions,
men clad in absolutist pillowcases
paraded up the national mall.
the things they carried—
plastic explosions of technicolor incredible,
synapse lighter fluid,
pride and prejudice rattling their necks,
shortbread emergency ration.
rational men wept as their breath
was marked empty;
this was no occasion for shopping—
second day of fighting.
lights in the eyes of the dead,
bed-ridden soldiers smoldered
for the final time as lime-green
machines careened across
streams and rivers and livers,
wallowing in dirt—
worth the purchase—
birthing in surface urchins—
merchants searching for lines to bolden—
sold in apple orchards—
torture nurtures the frightened tenures—
you said you're with me in rockland,
but the only rocks I see are
where did the shortbread go?