squirrels thrive, after all, largely solo apart from the mating chase or bout though they’ll sleep six or seven together yet repeated delays that autumn allowed little rest and precluded burying nuts as well as his lady’s daffodil and iris bulbs et cetera packed away what they could, hoping they could cobble a nest *   […]


She was about to sweep away shards remaining from his high school crackup – more precisely, his breaking up over romance in his senior year. Ever since, his heart and skull had continued warring, sometimes erupting feverishly into a death mask mirrored in his own hands. Despite later dates and embraces, the artistic and social projects he retreated to whenever that suffocating midnight grip loosened, the self-therapy of hunchbacked miles along thunderstorm’d sidewalks, the scalding showers, exhausted jogging, throbbing woofers and shrill tweeters, hours of dreamless sleep – the kid had never fully eluded that gigantic amoeba. Disconcertingly, in trying to withdraw, he rolled back to his own deficiencies time and time again. The most painful message in all this, perhaps, was that he could not conquer everything he set out to accomplish; many things would remain beyond his range or his abilities.

In that brief, disastrous infatuation he had sought validation. Having a beautiful, charming, intelligent girlfriend would be a sign of completeness, of fulfillment. He believed that something in the mystery of woman spelled salvation, which is, of course, a terrible weight to place upon anyone. How could he burden his beloved with his own suffering? Any American boy who isn’t an athlete is handicapped – especially in the nation’s heartland. He wasn’t sturdy enough for football or even basketball, swift enough for track or cross-country, forceful enough for baseball, at least for the success he demanded of himself. He knew these activities weren’t “play,” despite usage, and believed only victory would compensate pain and exertion. His strengths and speed lay elsewhere.

But he remained loyal to people and institutions. Adolescent birds leave nests and stake out new territory. He yearned for loving, a special acceptance.

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two horny squirrels on a tree I hate cartoon slapstick … as for real actors … The Dead See Squirrels who know nothing of the next state nor the globe their world branches endlessly, effortlessly and is anything but round the thistle feeder found in one of our coolers … ah! the safe place! a […]


in the interim he would have to save the barn from immanent collapse and therein create a suite for his future mother-in-law so he helped the carpenter jack up the backside a half-foot to replace rotten sill and sketched out plans     tracked down a building permit     suspended new doors and windows learned to use a […]


A half-moon hangs in my cupboard like the letter D. Askew in silvery desire, it becomes an amber barley draught, bowl of orange tea, solitary untouched breast or ancestral skull while an old yellow watchdog prowls its nocturnal trail to the rooster. Poem copyright 2015 by Jnana Hodson To see the full Green Repose collection, […]