IN THE OLD DAYS owl ol mr moon face

was constipated on a sockdrawer

stuffed full of dreamers


to read the land with lake of ice eyes  

o eyes by ides flare like fire in snow

the feathers by degrees lose the sound of sitting wind 

quickest trip to lovely lonely i guess is eating heads   guess is eating heads


monogamous diarist of skull that's a mouthful 

finger that pellet out playing wordsworth 

the sharps there the skull there

the burped whirled wool

tight around the fur

the bone surprising

the gullet spun fur just as

tame as the 'docile' to rules

to the touch as a broke-down smear-color spoken to wind   and i quote

tall den to stand in while small birds bird up  begin 


death is   death is white and free for few  


chicken heads baby duck heads hare heads  where



look not at the chopping block look

not at that chicken whack neck hatchet hanging on a nail from the pine  for the yellow inward

neck meat goo

no vermillion spouting bird

gone slash wean ye 17 year olds

nursemaids shan't take ya 4 a calcium twirl a spall  

a secondhand nasty sex

in a pile of laundry coins  spinnin

holy preceptor scarab parrot's leaky port

to run and to spurt  some magical downhill magnetism to earth

anyway the feet too light to make a quit with carry


by now you get what i would not

be present for pressing mine face

into the hanging shirts on the rack 

until the buttons hurt me

so it goes with the sensitive of eye

eyes two jelly cysts sent north by the heart


when the cluck hatchet is clean as a top 40 hit in 1959 

when the whack 'em off stump block see has no fresh pine sap upswelling from a chop mark chit dive  

oozy and pooling to mix with and brown out a darker redder  

when the people all crazy if anything of a hunger for anything they've raised

to wait around for death by the hand that feeds ya

heedless walk these limp headless to the swamp to throw

something evil  some evil in it  to it   


ooh barely crack the egg of the eye to look right  to peeper-whisk the snow's grey lips  it's right sense right  to marten or weasel posit  but  well  no  nothing landy seemed tried a drag says the punctureless butcher paper clean crusts of dandelion fluff esque snow


for the kids  this coiffed translation  wise owl  big head

ho ho yr lonely as a hole no dumptruck to prig in   or turn yr head all the way  for the stranger has a metal peepee its cutting edge like fire  or eyes as crinkle billow bags  the proverbial kid in the bubble  touch him once and he'll be dyin  dyin or dead


ol owl like a buncha ol flapper hats thrown at a church sign at a buffet belly

somewhere lordy uno pliant bookshelf folding in


sing it with me lullaby gauze cent

cannibalism wisdom

every o in hooot a hunted head

a swallowed brainbox 

just think  floresces

in genii mechanically


that guy you know him what 

can throw the ball neat and tight

could clip the yearn fin off

whose hand through his own hair lakes a score

power bale opera got milk

thru the vague governmental vents meant to crawl

to save dame-alicious is the promise of the networked world

bruce and bruce

takers beggars chew lures

he was the camaro vampire

gassed he sat on the bench and drank sugar water

the padding for his hips bumping out of his gleamin

touchdown britches joke foam commandment tabs 

yawn  fiddle with the radio  while they blow him

spoke thick not light stones at mud

man that truck'll frick a froth through that

was borin as the outside of a fridge

on national go-to-town-magnet day

still they threw themselves on him still

baby it was all in his bull calf leg

and those walnut artless eyes borrowed from animals full of teeth for breaking

other animals did really really mighty really get and take and hard


also the dweeb

the kick me paper

tacked to his ass kick

lack pant chancery

did swear on a stack of blur goat pix of gaggin weevils

too hot pants'd with mr whoosh whoosh hey hay


wasn't anything not dead didn't chum with that sneak captain

of the soundless zoom 


the demented kid ate snot in his spaghetti at lunch

shared love-you notes ever

bodice lover outta metal hangers in a ouchy lightnin porn


the gal with the fruit gum whose wrists were flammable 


the gal and guy who won every spelling bee

looked like they combed their hair with kittens too 


for that's one fallow fellow

tell it by his slant hat

and candywrapper eyes

lives down on seeing street


even the bus driver up since 4 for milkin cows leaning on a pine

hear the pine slough click is

working a temperature of

a word toothpick

through his front row 

man how that mini timber dances frisks freaks dances 

loved to jabber engines

loves to lean in to the waist on a car

on a saturday before noon

when the grass is wet

and the world is filled

with gorgeous excuses

for stillness with owl


for stillness with owl

the daymoon skull  

the carburetor cleaned 

try and start 'er and see if she's 

okay mash on that gas a little 







IN THE OLD DAYS the hawk

was a born again bread board flyin


some stone powerpole cauterize


austerity brain hair


two gift-careful fingers

a finger and a thumb

in the gift posture

and placing those against the peaked bow head

of flame

to tear

the fire open




it is a brown blood bread a-flying

it is a board it is a bad dad river believer valve for the sea

because the rain hurt him and the sun hurt him

he went on and moved like every natural sound

was from a mouth out to get him

people he hid from long enough to run enough

liquid through himself

roust all the flood junk out again


dead bloat cow unnatural

you'd go in the barn and all the brothers

would be sittin on their own case of brew

their faces raw meat with the cords working

in their necks with the bodies probably guzzling blood up out of the toes

until to walk was an entertainment of the sea

comin tru lease i hink i


bloat cow comin thru flood wrack

kid'd knife it and touch a match lit

to the gashed hole a stream

of flame a beautiful  


a tree ain't a tree until

it hosts a nest

it's only doin half its livin

til it's like okay

pee tong node


not a person a person until a story

broken cradles in there




it is one summer long tine ago now

by long ago try everything was localish

and when you went to lift it heavy

sun high in sky worth whistling

a fried egg a little running a little straight overhead

then everything goes solid in the boy

like egg exposed to heat

for the father is a flame and

the son freezes in his father's heat a little more  

and the son is told to do as he has done before

to put his hands to the red barn

so the son puts his hands to the red barn

the careful son carefuls after all the splinters

takes great care his hands to the red barn

and he's a while in his arrival the father 

muttering is throwing in there a little

and the father a flame

so it's strange when wood stands him

bit then it's like he was never away or far

back he's whack whacking the son's

back with a 2x4 whack whacking his son's back

with a 2x4 the wood will break

before the son will

the sun will the burn will the barn will 

trying silence as it falls  

through a fly barn out of doors glitzy juicy nothing

louder than one broke board planer

when it finally hints ground

that that must be the throat of a tree root

loose last from leathered harnesses of sap and water 




sun a cloud over god's maze? rain the sun

shaving a destiny? a dynasty? every loud a quiet board?

all those filial chemical goading his heels?

so the walking wounded? get off easy?

for pissing in every creek fort you love? 

if a wound is something thinkable over? 

then to pass 'er on the dipthong mange? 

if a certain story is getting pissed on the head? but if you could

do the dog shake long enough to spit clean dry?


i guess i am pretty sure him and his old man cry at random normal movie moments together in a bottle full of grief dust in a ditch by the moaning metal strangers forever


for ever and ever


or til the bobcats

in pouncing stanza  

for millennia

tame down

sufficient for milkin  


yes  least  til  then



Abraham Smith has published three full-length poetry collections. Smith is the recipient of grants and fellowships from University of Wisconsin, University of Alabama, Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA. His experience as an educator, writer, performer, and community arts organizer has provided him with invaluable insight into the writings of America.