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(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

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Cleaning Fish On Good Friday,1963

.
Fate, then, heavy in a boy's hand
hoists dead weight to a nail on a tree.
His knife scores firm flesh yielding
beneath freshly limp gills - there is an
instrument made just for this, pincher-pliers
for catfish skin - he grips and tears,
uses his weight down-stripping smoothly
bare to such luscence little ribs of roseate
flesh.

Only the overly large head, the ugly face
whiskered within gilded monstrance,
remain pure to form, thin-lipped and
mocking, restrained by depth pressures,
sustained on surface trash, dead things
that sink down it's treasures.

Tenderly sing, then, to a nail,
to a boy's blood catechism -
hands, minds, are meant
to be stained, mercy's quality
unstrained neither by will nor gill.
Scavenging flocks gladly fill their
gullets inhaling entrails tossed
in supplicant bins.

In unison Gregorian they scream:

There is a nail for me
plain, a chorus of barks** -

splintered lips
punctuated surprise,

glossolalia of rivers
now given weight.

One can only will
praise to 'The End',

and spill, post-pliers,
one's silken guts in offering.


**A catfish when brought to shore barks, a rasping, barking discharge of air.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010
Edited: Friday, April 23, 2010


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