The Hyena Queen

She was a pretty hipster, hair mohawked
like a black mane of jagged crests,
and her laughter was shrill as she walked
into the club, leading her pack with her breasts
bouncing in rhythm to the DJ’s dubstep track,
heading first to the neon watering hole
for a drink, every dude gawping and stepping back
as if he feared the loss of his heart and his soul.
She ordered margaritas, licking the salt
and leaning on the bar as she coolly eyed
the dark jungle of the room, the gestalt
of the animals in their herd, grinding side to side.
Her pack looked wild and hungry, their thighs
paw-printed with tattoos, and their painted faces
gleaming with piercings, their black-rimmed eyes
hinting at Punk Rock, and elephant graveyard places.
A young man approached, eyes like a gazelle’s—
big, dark, innocent, full of frenzied flight
before she disemboweled him, spilling his entrails
with high-pitched laughter full of scorn and spite.
Her pack’s cruel, giggling glee then rang out
to silence the grazing grounds, the thunderous savanna
dropping down-tempo as she shoved her snide snout
through his guts, and his genitals, the young man a
carcass now, eviscerated on the dance floor
as her pack enjoined in the kill, tearing him apart
long after he had fled through the exit door
with whatever remained of his mangled heart.
Her pack then hunted their own prey,
seeking the stragglers, the loners, the lost
upon the edges—those who wanted a day
of excitement to remember, even at great cost.
Wobbly-legged calves, newborn and chaste;
old grey beasts, single and lonely;
straight, gay, bi, pan: grazers of whatever taste,
they were all led astray by the lunatic laughter only
to be torn apart, shredded, heaped up in a pile
by this pack of predators, their laughter wild and petty
as they fed themselves on the dignity of others while
dubstep storms blew over the savage Serengeti.

Out Of Her Depth

She thought she knew him, and his shoal-shallow soul;
knew that his mind was see-through, his cranium made of limpid glass
that was openly transparent, like a spotless fishbowl
so pellucid that light and sight could easily pass
to illuminate his simple, small world
wherein he swam and swirled.
She fancied that his clear, clean, calm waters inside
housed a forgetful goldfish who viewed
the larger world from within a smaller one, gawping bubbles and wall-eyed
as she fed him little snippets of gossip for his fishfood;
thinking that there was little more need
of food for someone of his meager breed.
Yet, all the while she was unsuspecting of his angler deceit
and the dark depths spreading all around her and plunging down,
his saber-teeth gnashing just below her complacent feet
as she treaded penumbral waters, following his tendril crown,
lured where there lurked a toothy undertow
whose darkness eventually illuminated what she did, and did not, know.

Pretenses

The geese came waddling in a throng,
squawking their pretentious decrees
against the other animals drinking along
the lake, and their presumed jealousies.
And as the geese walked toward the lake
their trail was traced behind them
by the filthy litter in their wake,
the only reason you should mind them.

Fallen Kingdom

dragonfly

Glinting dragonflies with diaphanous wings
and catfish splashing, spreading lakeside rings;

knobby-kneed fawns wobbling in arboreal shade
and robins above, singing a triumphant aubade;

geese waddling as a troupe— gander, goose and goslings—
and angry little ducks quacking very cross things;

chipmunks flitting in tawny flashes, to and fro, to and fro,
while squirrels bicker and bite, in the trees and down below;

pond congealed with green algae, black muck, and duckweed,
and bullfrogs burping rudely, from shoal to mud to reed;

foxes playing like wildfire in the bulb-bobbing clover
and the light showers of rain as the clouds pass over;

hawks perched on power lines to search for unsuspecting prey
while buzzards circle the remainders from yesterday;

a sun-blanched skull with a broken antler crown
tangled in the cedar-post fence, all tumbledown;

a dilapidated barn with a mournful, gaping mouth
opened toward a thunderstorm rumbling to the South;

the ancient tractor overgrown with vines, its wheels rusted,
the tiller blades dulled and the engine block busted;

broken cobblestones upon the front-yard path,
a lopsided swing and a shattered birdbath;

a farmhouse peeling, its gutters clogged and its siding stained,
spiderwebs splayed across every unbroken window pane;

the weathervane’s cockerel cracked at its lightning-struck comb
and the cupola collapsing inward, like the rest of that home;

and these headstones hidden among the wilderness of wheat
where there pass no children’s laughter or words or pattering feet;

their corpses cuddling together for carrion comfort beneath it all—
husband and wife: childless, finite, fallen, mortal.

Cloud Formations

The clouds smudged the sky
like the pink paw prints of cats
on a blue glass bowl.

The frayed white banner
of surrender set aflame by
merciless sunset.

Bespeckled owl egg
nestled in a white cloud nest,
ready to birth night.

Titan face staring
with a cataract-blind eye;
Ouranos long dead.

A gam of gray whales
dripping rain from their fat flanks
as they drift Southward.

Modern Hubris

Kitten
Our ancestors trembled
like kittens in the shadows of tigers
when lightning flashed
across the roaring heavens,
and,
fearing the thunderbolt’s pounce,
they huddled in dank caves
to escape the salivary rains
that dripped upon the horizon
while the tigers prowled.
Now we chain
that fulgurous feline fury
with dainty wires
and bandwidth collars
so we can watch in idle hours
online kittens
prancing across tinkling keyboards,
fearing only
(in our complacency)
that the kitten might fall off
while taken too much with its prideful pace.
Yet,
the tigers still prowl,
their shadows always upon us,
threatening to strike us dead
with thunderbolt claws
or merely the modern boredom
that comes with an ambushing
blackout.