• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 02
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red coat soot hair

they said say the ending
was coming coming came.
slowly sticking in dark sap
under splintered trees
or climbing waist deep
through mudslides and ash.
walk-wading through rubble
and shattered bones.

everyone saw seeing it
becoming when it came.

now the warm time wind
blows salty
sweeping away
the dull gray heavy air
that brings
coughing, weak limbs,

picking gathering
in dead woods ash pit
tasting with tip of tongue.
store sweet bitter and smoky
in rag bag for sharing time.

sit sitting near fire they toss
no-use clutter aside.
no purpose. they say saying
now and then again
into forward time trash
does not feed not warm not build.


red coat soot hair

I gather no-use bits and save
in rock place under dry sticks.
in quiet time I take trash
treasure set in dirt
sweep from moon side to sun
I ask these bits
hard, smooth, shiny metal
and those bendy plastic
and others soft tight webbed threads
what they been
were being in gone time.

I pick two-hands-tall thing
body shaped like hungry woman
arm gone. I turn feet up
and swing-swish long dirty hair
in broad back-forth ways.
I make wind come storm come.

old one twisted body
in rag pile laughs
mouth dark cave
where bears sleep.
picks pebbles. throws at me.
she spirits sounds
from long gone time.
throat full of rememberings
like rubble near dried stream.
ragged nail points at treasure.
gritty rattle speaks of toy.


red coat soot hair

what purpose
ask I. sending voice
to meet her sounds.
rob them of powers.

no purpose in now time.
not gather not hunt no eat.

shrug shoulders I. wave toy.
long dirty hair sweeps wind.

old one caws like scavenge bird.
throws ratty thing wrapped
in berry-red coat large bloated body
like stuffed tick. hits arm.
rolls to ground. ash-smudged
mane flowers from face and head.

what do

old woman hollow voice
comes from long gone time.
says saying old old man
fat belly carried on cold winds
by chained demon-dogs
with dead trees bursting
from crown of furry skulls.
steals into quiet den in dark time.
takes bad ones from fireside.
soot stains bushy hair, fire singes coat.


red coat soot hair

stuffs twitchy arms legs screams
in blood bag. lets good ones sleep
safe warm. leaves bright shiny colors
to ward off middle-of-night blindness.

I hide hungry woman
from red coat soot hair
in rock place under sticks.

trees dead. bones ash.
too many bad ones
and good ones gone
now and always.

I wrap twine round
red coat soot hair’s
belly arms legs
tighten round neck
hang him
from dead branch
deep in ash pit
far from fireside
to be always keeping him
in now time
and tomorrow time
to end the ending
to save bad ones
and good ones.