Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Poetry Month--Three O’Clock in the Morning, Alone

I have written a sequence of Coyote poems, imagining the trickster Coyote manifesting as an avatar in human form. In these poems, I see Coyote as the archetype of all the "bad boys" of literature, film, and television--Bluebeard or the Beast in fairy tales, Heathcliff, Marc Antony, Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've always been secretly drawn to these dark antiheroes, and judging by the sheer number of bad boys in fairy tales, literature, movies, and television, so are many others.

The poems I've written about Coyote have been some of my most popular poems. I even have a whole group of female fans in the UK just for the Coyote poems. So I thought I would post a Coyote poem each day for the next ten days in sequence, sort of a serialized chapbook of Coyote poems. Here is the first.


Coyote wails in the far field
beside his woods.
He runs yelping,
baying among the trees,
hot on your trail
across farms and highways,
down city streets to prowl
outside your triple-locked doors.

Coyote could splinter
that wood, shatter
your windows, plunge
into your life, drag you
to his den.
He will be civilized instead,
phone you in the morning, pretend
he has left a book behind.

Coyote moves back
into his woods, voice
He dials your number
now, growls into your sleepy ear.

Published in Heart’s Migration (Tia Chucha Press, 2009)

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