from Early Evening

By | 1 April 2016


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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