Two Poems

Two Poems

Julián Herbert

Hexagram of the Mule

And what’s to say about an ass?
I never said a thing.

There was a mule next to Leticia’s mouth:
her ardor was lunar
and she rubbed up against me
There was also a mule over at Juan Luis’ house
and they’d charge us five pesos to ride it.
I never rode it.
There was a bloated black one floating in the stream,
another really yellow one from an Arctic dream,
and that one from the funny papers,
and a somewhat cross-eyed mule in Gabriela’s stare
returned over her shoulder from an aromatic land.

So beastly, this word
that I still find repugnant. How to base
the flight of angels on a kick.
How to tan the hide and ruminate the blinking
of sonorous breath among sunflowers.
Without aurigas or escapades, barely alveolated
by a maiden’s impudence
or shame.
Beyond law or allegory, barely enveloped
by a coppery afternoon
like one of Turner’s trains.

The sameness—I didn’t say it—
was that same ass
detained in its rat-colored skin
against a vulgar background of green sheaves.
A straining, animal lust for life
but bitter
as sage or laurel.


Mac Donald ’s

Never fall in love with a pound
of ground beef.
Never fall in love with a table laid,
or with food, the cups
she kissed with a mouth of insistent,
icy, powdered mandarin:
Never fall in love with this
enamored dust, the dead
cough of a name (Ana,
Claudia, Tania: doesn’t matter,
all names die), a flame
that drowns. Never fall in love
with someone else’s sonnet.
Never fall in love with blue stockings,
the blue veins beneath those stockings,
the flesh of thighs, that
so superficial flesh.
Never fall in love with the cook.
But never fall in love, also,
with Sundays: soccer, fast food,
nothing on your mind but cribs like nooses.
Never fall in love with death,
its damsel lust,
its canine unusual cruelty,
its midwife tact.
Never fall in love in hotel rooms,
in simple past, in
letterhead, in porno flicks,
in eyes devastating as celestial tombs,
in clandestine talk, in boleros, in books
by Denis de Rougemont,
On speed, on alcohol,
on Beatriz,
on casserole:
never fall in love with a pound of ground beef.

Posted: April 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

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