301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently




after tree planting near Campbell River, Vancouver Island


we yo-yo the cut-block all week, vulture-flair

forest clawed to the tissue on terminal broadcast

root-dislodge, plucked earth swung dissonant


an allergic reaction to the bit and bridle

of chainsaws scratching an itch into its side

whump of old-growth shortening its angle full horizontal


end of the week we burn the empty seedling boxes

on a fragged junction of logging road, damp sawdust-

caked pant-legs kilned, flame’s limbo


confused by its incarnation, blazed-mouths suckling

at the gloss-edge of waxed cardboard like hard candy

from the treeline a presence darkens back



later in John’s room, liquor waterlogged in a dozen faces,

ten-dollar poker games with the hotel owner

ugly fucker stripped from chthonic parentage, watershed


of bloat and sweat, Bacchaeic slur of his eyes familiar

with a species of cruelty wives don’t remark on

around him art deco exhibits of beer cans arranged


in miniature Stonehenges, mapping the tilt

and declination of weather’s cold compress

against an old ache—all of us audience to our own


title credits, wondering what happens next

he gloats about murder, rifled laughter nearly Promethean,

“I got a cougar in my freezer, goddamn beauty too!”



we follow him like one of Bram Stoker’s attendants,

deadbolt shed tomb-like in the back where he lifts the white lid

on our disbelief—that stillness unavenged


apocryphal even after I touch the snarl

of her eye, tawny fur blood-crusted, all of us sick with wonder

at something that should not have been so still


outside, drunk-clung to a severed faith in things,

ocean-tug of moonlight, salt curing the air


against a boat ramp the laboured gasping of an exit wound

as the tide brings an anger back into the world


from subTerrain #73

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