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Rusty Barnes

Posted in Rusty Barnes with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot



That Goddamned Simple

I have cultivated in my middle-age
the great round belly of the Buddha
as well as the beard of Jesus Christ.

I hope not to gain the single solid eye
of Odin or the piece-meal sentience
of Osiris. I don’t desire their powers.

Instead I gather for myself their looks,
various as they may be like carvings on
a rock outcropping or carved into wood.

The advantage is in the wisdom gathered
behind their eyes and in the sharp-
smelling wool of their tunics and hats.

For wisdom can be faked by clothes
and looks and the presence of many
books. Trust me, I know this to be true.

I wish only to love as the gods loved in all
their so human foibles and to mess over fewer
people than were messed up before me.

It ought to be that goddamned simple.


We Men

Always in the cool gray season of the rut
we would take their antlers and clamber
clumsily up the steep hill and into the woods
proper, where we used our pitchy hands
among the branches of a suitable pine to settle
ourselves and wait for the horny males to arrive,
every five minutes or so viciously slamming
the tines together to mimic the way the solid bucks
flew at each other in a rage of hormone
and muscle in pursuit of their mates. How it
hurt me even then to know that in a few months
time we would shoot them and rip out their
entrails in the name of sport or food: the half
hundred poor reasons we give men to kill.