Tagged: the Reptiles

The Ancient Reptilians

every dinosaur book starts out
a long long time ago, or
before
there were buildings, cars

before the trees were gone (once
when they had never been)
before
the leaves were different

and as gluttonous drinkers of sun
they stood, broad faced and brachial
before
their necks. maybe we say instead

instead there were dinosaurs
very unlike cartoon dinosaurs, who
before
becoming huge and terrible

could fit in the palm of your hand
their woodpecker hearts bled in
before
receding, flooding again the plains

of their limbs to move. they’d tense in
vegetation, wary of their own feathers
before
in agitation, taking flight

this is before and during the
beginning of time
before
enough collective damage

had been done to call it the past
before there were roads
before
the whispering of animals into rooms 

of our dwelling. be it houses, clothes
as fire eats the air
before
air has had enough and shoos it

when at once it has always been
like the ground to a foot in a shoe
before
the biggest thing on Earth was God

When You Ask Right After If I Am Happy

sometimes when I look in your eyes I am
measuring the distance between your eyes
to see if you can be swallowed

I am enticing your outline to stuff its way
through my body. your head first, then
your shoulders making a wingspan of ribs

your middle and hips go easier – a struggling
crane becomes the air inside it, the water
inside a person

you are both obviously there, and not there
in a way that seems to suit me. do I suit you?
I am all around you, yet I move so little

the animal comes closest to enjoying its life
in these moments, after it is fed, when
it does not have to think about eating

The Watersnake

His form began its senseless change,
    And made my senses waver dim
        Seeing nature ferocious in him.

           – The Groundhog, Richard Eberhart

In June, amid the bones of a creek
I saw a snake dying. It rose on its coil
as if climbing a ladder, as if hearing
flute music playing in the baskets
of passing bicycles, the children flying
Then it fell. It’s fitting that a snake
should do something utterly snake-like
before dying. What is utterly human-like?
The transportation of parasites? Building
a tower of love to knock it over? Nature
is already ferocious in us, Richard
the maggots and bleached architecture
I lifted the snake with a stick, draped it
over a stone. The head moved. I wonder
what parts of me will move. My wandering eye?
My restless legs kicking off the pants
to a burial suit, my fitful thoughts? Could
my body convulse so strangely that the people
around my bed all grab extensions of their arms
to poke me with? Will you, Dick, return
to mark my decay? To jab me with your walking
stick, and do neither good nor harm?

   
   

Link to Richard Eberhart’s full poem, The Groundhog

Looking for Snakes on the Beach at Night

How can anyone take the purple smell
of cigarillos seriously, throwing up
off boardwalk piers into sand dunes
boasting signs about snakes, beware
the rattlesnake, this is its home we
have dropped our folding chairs onto
our trashcan goal posts, our interior
truck music and lives together with
just one other. I have never seen a
rattlesnake. I have however sat in an
empty tent that no one seemed to come
home to. I used the walls to better hit
my pipe. I sniffed the stolen air for sex
but it was already covered. I have
never seen a rattlesnake. I have however
seen teenagers crying in the ocean with
their Bibles, looking like tired surfers
letting several gods wash over them in
waiting for a larger god. A more swollen
feeling. I have never seen a rattlesnake
I have disposed of truth, as it is without
coil, without the spring to life that
fills me. I know the moon will pull the
water in, and push it out. But how much
closer is a moon that leads us out there
with its light as a bridge, onto the oil?
To see the people going on there. I have
never seen a rattlesnake. I have pretended
to see one, even pointed at the holes they
may have made with their heads. I lamented
their absence of hands, as I do
my own absence of people touched