Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: Love

Voluntas Vitae

The meaning of life? It lies
in the discovery of one’s own
bequest, a pearl in a shell,
an ability, a benefaction:

the willingness to refine it,
cultured, every shimmery layer
of opalescent nacre, held with
care, simply to be given away

with prudence to a worthy
steward, held indefinitely,
on permanent loan until passed
to another necklace, more precious

than Mikimoto. To be retained by
one, lacking recipient, is to grieve
like a lover with unrequited affections,
like a traveler without destination.

Towing Caution in the Wind

Brothers in the boat declared
you’ve gotta commit to the turn,
cut it, rip it open, ignore your
instincts. If you ever really

want to be any good, you
have to be scared and do it anyway.
Heed-able advice from two bags of
injuries, fools, who regardless

seemed pretty damned content
in this second-hand vessel.
I used dish soap to pull the
stiff binding around a lumpy

Achilles’ tendon, jumped in,
grabbed the rope, and heard:
no Sunday drags here. No
bullshit. Time’s a-wastin’.

So I succeeded,
and failed. Under the water,
everything was quieter, and
tinted green, the sound

of the motor oddly distant
and tinny, light rippling
and bending with the water
a bit of my blood. Baptized,

breaking the surface, a brother
yelled, you got it! I cried
Uncle, crawled into the boat
like an exhausted amphibious

victor. Did you feel it, baby?
No one gets to call me baby,
I said, and though damn straight
I felt it. A joyous ordeal.

Stop being such a girl, said a brother,
winked, threw a towel at me
that had warmed dry in the sun,
and cooed, OK, Honey?

The Food of Imagination

The Inuit language

Has dozens of words for it.

The English only one:


Perchance the Eskimo resolved

To remove adjectives from

So sticky an idea:

Romantic, courtly, platonic,

Parental, sexual,


The Greeks subcategorize

Affection, Friendship,

Eros and


Orsino begs for the lute

To feed his imagination.

Play on!  Call Barthes’ magicians,

The selves, to manufacture

This delectable a


For what can a thing be

That is manufactured by

The human brain and the

Caged animal we call

The Heart?

A morsel for the idle mind

To devour in

Sophomoric Spirit.

A tale of fiction which we

Have read on gilded pages

At an impressionable


T’is laced with an addictive drug

Surging dopamine and

Norepinephrine through

Our starving bodies,

More harmlessly attained

Via a brisk run through the


Nothing but a figment, flickering

Brightly for a fickle and finite amount of time,

Illuminating, with sadistic pleasure

Immortality and Herrickian roses

Never gathered whilst in full, dewey