“DEAD DOGS DON’T HOWL”

To negate the simple equation,
removing all tendency
toward their one path,
you will arrive in rare form
until the others follow you;
Tearing down this beauty;
Building an industry like lumber mills.
Any successful pioneer will warn you—
of those who follow victory—
their tiny feet stamping out
your footprints laid in fresh snow.

And once again, you will be forced out,
wearing a pansy pinned to your lapel.
You will go searching to find somewhere
new
until there is nowhere else
for the rare form you crave so much.
Then, you will die and be forgotten—
but the industry will celebrate your visage.

The industry will claim you
and as they build their monument
over your body of work,
you will try to roll over.
But dead dogs don’t howl.
Your spirit might, but your body lays stiff
beneath soil; A fossil cringing
at the saw blade’s crank;
As your once magnificent ideas
are owned and operated
by one long line of derivative fools.

You hate them even more now
than you did in life, when you chose
to negate the simple equation,
removing all tendency
toward their one path—
in order to arrive in rare form;
At the solution; The answer;
The new way to be done.
It was yours first, before the snow
beneath sunset— became golden.

Dead dogs don’t howl,
but I do, for a little while longer;
While the forest is clear cut
and I run beneath another migration.
I run, I pant, I trip and try to catch my fall,
but the ground is hungry to taste
my skinned knees and raw palms.
And unless I grow feathers
like the shadows I chase, the Earth
is going to have me.

My pockets emptied.
My hair combed back.
My prophets plundered.
My pansy wilted.
My face— chalk.
The family remembers a boy, a teenager—
never knowing the man.
And the dogs downstairs bark,
wanting to be let out.
Someone new
will have to pick up the poop.
It is discussed over coffee;
My belongings, too.
And the dogs downstairs
scratch at the wooden door,
growling at the sound of the thunderstorm
just beginning to bare down—
on this, the south side of town.
The place I left; Never to come back.

narrative poem written on 03-25-2011 by: on mattkane.com
view image of poem

SHARE THIS POEM!

- Remove line breaks