Kim Addonizio

                       I think I could turn and live with animals—Whitman


O Walt you were wrong, they aren’t placid or self-contained

I just watched a spoonbill make carpaccio out of a frog

& crocodiles dining on wildebeests trying to cross the Maro River


It’s wrong to say O in poetry these days

which makes me want to have a loud orgasm right here

in an unashamed animal way


You must have been looking at some cows on a farm but who wants to                   live like that

standing around in a shed with sore tits, shitting claustrophobically

or standing around shitting & being tortured by flies & eating grass


I know you like grass but it’s no fun to be a pricey pre-hamburger

ruminating with no TV

If you’d had a cable subscription maybe you would have felt differently

watching NatGeo Wild & those exhausted herds on the Serengeti


Walt, I still love you even if in this instance you might have been

                a victim of the pastoral tradition

Let me tell you about animals: The green anaconda swallowed

               the young capybara whole


O o oh oh oh OHHHH Walt

Capybaras are the largest rodents on earth


I don’t think I’d survive as an animal for long, even a large one—look                   at the elephants

Imagine being murdered & becoming a doo-dad

or furniture inlay


Walt, I actually like sweating & whining about my condition

Hot flashing & bitching in my cream satin sheets, lying awake drunk                   & weeping in the dark

I’d definitely like to own more things


An electric knife sharpener for instance would come in handy

for carving up the less fortunate on special holidays

I want to be lucky as long as I can


Walt, Walt, I don’t think death is luckier or leads life forward

               like you said

I don’t think I’m going to grow from the grass you love

I’m just going to have one last blackout in a dirty pink lace dress

& be eaten by tiny ugly legless larvae 


Found In Volume 48, No. 06
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Kim Addonizio
About the Author

Kim Addonizio is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose, most recently the memoir Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin) and Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton), which was awarded the Paterson Poetry Prize.  She has received a Guggenheim, two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, and other awards. Her collection Tell Me was a National Book Award Finalist. She lives in Oakland, CA.