Father and Son

Dreamers Are Gluttons




Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats


Love Poem #1

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Kermit's Jazz

The Muse



In Time

Bottomed Out Language

Such Fears

Spreading Out Histories

Days Unfold

There is a Flutter of Noise in My Head


Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats.

- for Marvin O'Neal


I assume they call 'em kids

on account of their scream. 

That sound doesn't let your mind wander.  


My brother would cut them,

I didn't have the stomach.  

I'd hold them--


brace my knee on their necks,

wrap up their bodies in my arms. 

There'd be twenty or thirty of 'em


and we go right down the line,

next, next.  

He'd push up on their guts


with his palm so he could grab hold

of the sac, they'd try to retract

them up, if you know what I mean. 


Taking the knife like this,

so the blade follows his index finger,

he'd slice one,


careful not to cut his own hand,

and the nut opens up,

folds inside out,


and the goat would kick a little,

and make this sound. 

My brother would pull the testicle


down so to cut through the last

membrane holding it to its body. 

Of course, the nuts just go flying;


by the time we're done,

we got nuts here by the door,

by the walls, under our feet,


nuts everywhere.   The problem is

keeping the dogs away from all those nuts

before we get a chance to clean 'em up. 


The next day, we'd walk

through the herd, and all them

baby goats wouldn't move too fast, barely


pick up their legs.  It was like stumbling

through something you’ve done, had to do,

would do again.


Originally published in Red River Review 

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