received degrees in English and Spanish from Indiana University and his MFA from the University of Michigan. His chapbook, A Twelve Step Guide, was winner of the 2004 Diagram/NMP Chapbook Contest and is available from New Michigan Press
. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, his work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in ACM, Columbia Poetry Review, and 42opus. He lives in Chicago, where he serves as Distinguished Poet in Residence at James Brown Elementary School.
I’m Drinking Again, Let’s Start a Family
Bunnies will not stop eating all
the carrots in the garden. Bunnies will not even
serve our stately houseguests! God,
now a pure beam of energy, has a plan.
Bunnies appear as if we cannot see them
gathering carrots. A bunny is incredulous,
a bunny sits in the afternoon sun,
a bunny waxes prophetical. Bunnies impersonate
Jesse Owens at the 1936
Olympiad then pole vault over other
bunnies who eat carrots. Next week
God will indignantly throw ashes
in our faces and force us to abstain from heavy
petting in darkened hours. I look into the backyard
and Jesse Owens pole vaults over
about two hundred bunnies, then
enthusiastically bites into a carrot. O
earth! Our Lady of Unmerciful Violence!
Gone are simpler times when, if a lord
died, his slaves, chaplain, cook, butler,
dwarves, deformed men, and whosoever
had most served him throughout his life
were put to death. Bunnies become brilliant at math
and quite radical. Bunnies wake me at four
in the morning to eat carrots—I dream
terrible things and ask for forgiveness.
I walk on a beach with the one I love.
Bunnies speak in a different language
that I cannot understand, making
them unstoppable. I wear a baby blue
shirt and yellow sweater, deliver goodness
in a futile attempt at plea bargaining. Gone
are simpler times when a man was not
allowed to touch, much less eat,
an egg laid on a festival day. Yea,
if it be doubtful whether it were then
laid and if it be mixed with others, all
were prohibited. The coyotes of God rise
over a hilltop, thirsty for things. In the Bible
Moses parts a sea of bunnies to free
the Israelites. In the Bible bunnies form
a good athletic team and go 42-26
in their first season. In the garden, the carrots
dissipate while bunnies grow stronger
and more agile. I glance outside
and a bunny bench presses eighty pounds.
This is not good, I think, as a bunny
apologetically crashes through a window during
an endurance drill. Once, I loved someone.
Once, a bunny jumped over a volcano,
awestriking several Polynesians.
Once, we walked all over, to a lake,
to an abandoned lighthouse, to a Spanish
cinema. Once, coyotes stayed beyond the hilltop,
bunnies played fiddles at nightfall.
Once, she and I would sit with one another
all through the night. Bunnies arrived,
ate carrots, but I didn’t care. That was enough.
But then, bunnies began to excel at hurdling,
the javelin, and several east coast sports
that I can’t name, like field hockey and lacrosse
and even more elitist ones you’ve never
heard of, like hunting the impoverished. One evening,
on my way home from the library, the church
bells are so beautiful that I cannot walk.
I sit by a fountain and wait. God simply
vanishes. Far on the outskirts of town,
the bunny factory ceases its production of bunnies.