have you seen the chipmunk climbing up a tree
with his stripey coat as fast as fast can be
looking for his food a nut than he can chew
with his chipmunk teeth so he can bite through
jumping branch to branch an acrobat his he
a creature of the forest and a life so free
he has big long tail and stripes along his back
running up and down along the forest track
living in a burrow in the ground so deep
this where he goes when its time to sleep
Owl listened to Goose's secrets
Fishy could always use a smile
Duckie flew into many a dream
Cat lurked when the sun was high
Bear always gave the best hugs
Giraffe knew the summer's joys
Chipmunk shared in equal annoyances
Yet, Goose befriended them all
Owl was wise
Fishy was mellow
Duckie was comforting
Cat was kind
Bear was understanding
Giraffe was a laugh
Chipmunk was encouraging
And Goose loved them all
Duckie, Cat, Bear and Giraffe all
frequent the same little niche
Fishy swims down the street
from Chipmunk's tree
Owl and Goose fly in similar circles
And where would each be,
without the other
Our animal friends,
Or one another
With heavy sigh
A single leaf falls
The first I've caught in the act
It slides down my right shoulder
Kissing my skin with parched lips
A single, skittering chipmunk
Bounds across the soggy banks
Of Lake Fred
Unafraid and nearly near enough to touch
But keenly and instinctually aware
Of my innate barbarism
He keeps his distance
"Did you see that?"
I call to him
Pointing to the crumpled leaf beside me
"Summer is dying."
The chipmunk stops
Cranes its neck and twitches its whiskers in consideration
'Of course it is,
What else would it do?'
I watch a cardinal fly
And a blue-jay perch
I see a squirrel climb up
That naked birch
All the dreams you see in me
Well, I see falling in the leaves
Those geese flock
And then ducks scatter
It's hard to focus
Over chipmunk chatter
All the life you see in me
Well, I see falling in the leaves
That dog barks
And then a girl cries
Then every bird
Escapes to the skies
Everything that you see
Well, all of it is leaving me
Billy got a shovel.
Chipmunk sat on his shoulder.
They wandered away from town,
away from the businesses and restaurants,
far from the counting and court houses,
past the auto service stations,
until even the roads were gone.
Chipmunk said, Stop here.
"This spot looks good?" Billy asked.
The ground is soft.
"It's too soft. It won't do."
Billy stamped his foot down onto the flesh of the earth
and his brand-spanking-new boots caked themselves in mud.
"No no, this won't do."
We're far enough, now. You can dig here.
So, Billy dug.
At first the digging was easy
and shovelful after shovelful flew behind them both.
Then, Bill struck a pipe
and clean water geysered straight up for a hundred and fifty feet in the air
and splashed down all around them, but they were in the eye of it
so neither of them got wet, and Chipmunk hated water.
"Not the place- I told you."
Three and a half miles later, the pair stopped for a slice of rhubarb pie they brought with them.
What time do you have?
"I don't have a watch."
I bet it's forty minutes past the hour. And this place looks perfect.
Billy sunk his shovel into the ground, again.
He dug and dug and dug and dug and dug
[and eventually found an old brass sheriff's star, which he discarded,
but not before Chipmunk sunk teeth into it and deemed it to be
"antique-trash that belongs next to a green glass Coke bottle and a dirty skull"]
and dug and dug and dug and dug and dug and-
One more shovelful and we'll be in Colorado,
and we'll never make it back from that cold.
"What should I do?"
Put down the shovel, Billy Boy.
People had started to gather
because a tabloid published
a picture of Billy shirtless,
[he gets sweaty while digging],
and they wanted to know what
all the fuss was about.
So, Chipmunk got a hold of a megaphone
and addressed the seemingly-ever-increasing crowd:
If a wild beast sleeps under a poisoned tree,
and all night the tree poisons the thoughts of the dreamer,
do you blame the beast or the tree when the dreams come true?
If your heart is held together by very tight stitches,
and one of those stitches starts coming loose, and you feel it,
will a cold glass of cognac, and a warm hand to hold put it back together?
The crowd was dead silent.
An elderly man in the back stroked a long white beard
and a child standing next to him looked up at him stroking his beard
and the mother of that child looked down at the child looking at the man
and the light struck her glasses just so that the stars saw her light years away
and nobody noticed Billy, eyes closed at the bottom of the pit.
instead, the two large dogs go game over a single stick. a bucket moves now and then, mouth side down, and because I am high I put my heart to the right side of my chest. I have been told under the bucket there is a dead chipmunk. I periodically believe this, and cannot admit I am stirred by doubt. I focus on the dogs and on the stick I can see. you’ve braved the zip line that runs through the trees and I might have heard your legs crack on the road. I’ve known Ohio to be flat, but here I am. I’ve known Ohio to sound like the young adult Jesus strolling and that’s if I strain. I am afraid to go in the house; I worry the dogs will either disappear downhill to lick you or tip the bucket and be lost.
As I, in the forest, stood
Pondering nature's wonder
I peered up at the canopy, so lush and green
Of which, I dallied under...
Hopping through the foliage
That stretched across the ground
A chipmunk hurried to a log
And alit upon it with a bound...
Underneath the stratosphere
High atop a tree
A large black crow, I did hear
Calling down to me...
Proceeding to the beach, so warm
My feet, prints in the sand, did form
As I dug in with my toes,
I felt the sun, so warm
My mood was of repose...
Seagulls, high above, did play
Hunting, calling, all the day
Upon the evening tide
Bubbles of white foam did ride...
The summer felt just like a friend
Although, I knew, it, soon, would end
My visit to this paradise
Concluded in a way, so nice...
I knew I would return, again
To the shores of Lake Michigan.
chatters like a chipmunk;
piercing into my ear
and Again. Beating itself
Into me. Filling my mind,
every last bit of me.
is not something I
Find in Others. It is in
Only me. It is the Only
Piece I have.
have no love
have no loyalty
have no light
have no life
That one worthy
by piece you
Tear me apart. You
me like a fish;
Ripping away my scales
gave you my
gave you my
What else do you want.
No. I will not.
have only a little Left to give.
I have only my
and it is Not yous.
i like to look in the mirror
and dissect the person staring back
until features are just jagged lines
and stolen shapes
curved into a long slope
a beard of pimples
surrounding small lips
and a mustache to strike envy into any man
darker than the hair on my head
which is dry and flat and falls into my face
practically falling out of wide cheekbones
hairy white tree trunks
that i suppose pass for legs
just a pale board
with eyes and skin covered in mold
society's worst fear stares back at me
my own words
i say them to myself now
i see your point
but listen to me now
if you're reading this
you're fucking beautiful
don't let anybody ever tell you otherwise
and if they try to tell you otherwise