Red-tail eating a plump squirrel in one
of the elm trees. I’d meditated already, had
a hedge on the night but owned nothing past
that. Surrounded by crows in three of the other elms—who
had come suddenly out of nowhere—shouting Caw as he
picked that squirrel to bits; “the most common hawk in North America.” Early evening
at Penn State, still light and no leaves yet, or they’d already fallen off—
late autumn then or early spring, two thousand something, probably two thousand three.
Off the hip of Old Main—ten crows, maybe
a dozen crows. One is a gun, Charlie Brown; after
all, one is a gun—a single
composition of many parts. Shadows
lengthen, Charlie Brown.
Where was I?
I remember what
happened to me and can grin about that up
to a certain point. Address could be bright
and vivid or it could just be To
Whom It May Concern, or the nickname
for a whispering daemon, orders
in his hand, Charlie Brown. You might
ask, How do you know?
I’d say, Push comes
in parts. Two is a shoe, meaning
we’ll play both sides of the net, as it were—each
has its “natural boundaries,” its neighbors and “partially
overlaying ranges.” Knowledge seems easy, but who’m I to say? Swallows
and swifts, Charlie Brown, swallows and swifts. Pull
it apart: I’m who I say, I’m in town and the night’s young—it’s all doable and I’m
at your service, Charlie Brown.
The full ten parts of this poem first appeared in Iowa Review
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