Writes the Wrongs
I Awoke The Night That Attica Happened And Wrote A Poem
It Was A Long Poem That The Arkansas MFA Workshop Did Not Like
It’s not like the Arkansas MFA Workshop thought much about my other stuff either, but the feedback for this poem reinforced my commitment to wield #TheTerribleSwiftianSword with complete commitment to equality in terms of Truth Social, injustice, and ain’t that just The American Way!
For Bonus Points, pick out the places where I am misogynistic, racist, homophobic, a liberal apologist for bad behavior, a laissez faire Capitalist, woke, or “just out of touch with the realities of modern crime and punishment.”
Then stick those bonus points up your ass, where you keep your delusional soul. Did you really think colonoscopies were intended to determine anything more important that if your soul is covered with malignant polyps? You fucking naif!
The Telling of the Tale
I wrote this poem in a single sitting on the evening of September 13, 1971 while the curse was being passed around Attica.
Since this is not true of one man or two,
But ever so many, it is hard to imagine what life must be like.
— Howard Nemerov, "Angel and Stone"
I pitied the poor werewolf once, forced of a full
Moon to scrounge up blood to satisfy an urge,
But who seemed likable enough despite his hang-
Dog affection for self-loathing and degradation.
"A few days a month," he'd say, "it's almost as if
I should have been a woman in my mouth."
He seemed anxious to prove a monster needn't be
A martyr in his guilt the way he toyed at humor,
Although each time the night came near to drink
Again, he'd whine and curse his rotten stars:
"It's not like I can help it, understand.
A one in a million shot, this werewolf bit.
It could have happened to anyone; so here
I am, a man no worse than most, condemned
To feed forever on nameless veins beneath
That hollow light; there's nothing you can do.
The world's set up with two kinds of things
And I've been made a taker. There's no forgiving."
Each afternoon before the moon he'd beg
To be locked up, a piercing gleam of torture
In his eyes. "Please don't let me do it again,"
He'd moan, and always I complied, but always
He'd escape to roam the roads around
The town to find his necessary meal.
I often heard him howling down the street
For bitches in heat, or slurping the mess
Off his paws in his room, and once I watched
Him mount a village girl after tearing
Off her head, but through all this I pitied
Him and his condition, and all the years
I harbored him, he never bothered me
Or mine until he said: "If only I
Could end it all, be free, and sleep in peace.
If only someone could fix this,” and I said I would.
He stared at me. "You're sure?" he asked. I nodded
Once to tell him yes, but he went on: "You know
What you have to do?” I nodded again. "But why?"
He asked me, and then I saw that burning look
I'd seen so regularly for so long. "But why?"
He asked again. I said: "I'd do it because
You asked me. I'd do it to make you happy."
And he began to laugh.
He howled until
His flesh burned red before he said: "Yes,
I believe you would." He tossed me a silver slug
And said: "Yes, I do believe you would.
Get the gun." And I, of course, complied,
But when I returned the werewolf was gone
And this alone remained: "I'm sorry, but now
I have to leave. I thank you for being kind.
You saw the good beneath the bad and cared
Enough to pity, but you didn't care enough
To search beneath the good. Haven't you
Ever wondered why a werewolf lives
So long, hundreds, maybe thousands of years,
With all the mobs of people chasing him
With clubs and crosses, wooden stakes and fire?
Tonight you'll find as the world grows dark
That I've given you the answer. A werewolf never dies
Because the curse is in the bullet."
Ironically, I worked for nearly two decades in meaningless jobs where I could have been called a Compliance Officer.
I still think this interpretation of the werewolf myth can be used to explain the NRA and its membership.