Three Poems

Belle Glade

a sugar georgic

trucks of men arriving in the six

o’clock light the crop duster passes

overhead while toxic algae blooms in

ditches at Canal Point, in Big Water,

trace of the Seminole muttering fuck

you, Andy Jackson, like what’s ever

been named after you but a $20 bill?

and the soil electric with atrazine and

metal Zora’s voice in the humus muck

wind rises from the rat’s mouth men

boil over Air Tractors, they ask How

many gallons of fuel can the planes

hold? How many gallons of chemicals?

How fast are they? Are they difficult to

fly? black ditches seep and bees stream

from the canal in Belle Glade, the kids

wave bicycle parts, their eyes trickling

Her soil is Her fortune

talk to a dead

ditch or dial the number on the screen

your lawyer says if the swarm is aimless,

gadding about in the air, take their kings

and tear their wings off but if you can’t

find a Seminole, talk to a cane toad, their

Bidder’s organs intersexed and clenched

500 gallons of chemicals and 200 gallons

of fuelthat’s a bomb right there! mercury

patterns left by the high priest not even free

legal advice can save a dead ditch the men

put knives to cane; their pay comes in water,

in yellow manila sagging the branches

The Book of Frogs

it’s all fucking prolegomena to you, Donald

it was after the

love of that

girl and long

before my hands-

washing fetish my

senses were those

of a child, my ears

flooded with frogs

croaking, and there

was still the smell

of bathing suits drying

then the company’d

been brought in to root

out the frogs like some

“special-purpose entity”

some mark-to-market

accounting of the frog

plague beginning in

that April song they

arrived in their cunning

as scaly-backed reptiles

in the blue Missouri sun-

shine though my friend

says: sky blue is not the

color of the sky; blue is

the color of the poisonous

respiration of certain frogs

who’ve gone down into the

muck impediments to

his’try navigation used

to be an act of the body

it’s a sad truth, he said &

it all made us nostalgic

for winter and we kept

won’drin how much this

was gonna cost it made

us nostalgic for the slimy

bacteria and we all kept won’

drin how much this was

gonna cost it made us

nostalgic for Tupelo and

we all kept won’drin how

much this was gonna cost

and what‘s that up your

sleeve now, Ken Lay, your

E is spinning your head

too like a vote counter’s

cartoon skull in Salt Lake

(cue the chorus

O Frogman, you know

certain river birds eat

golden frogs with gusto

shake hands with a Republican

and see if your hand comes

back to you or follows the

river down to Saigon, down

to Ciudad Juarez, down to

Sadr City meanwhile back

at the ranch, Spiro Agnew

in his tight pink golf pants

(his head’s been placed in a

contaminated drum) while

Colson places obscene

phone calls from a ‘bama

diner (the story’s a dead

horse) while John Mitchell

spills whiskey on Martha’s

best tablecloth (he muses a

confession) and John Dean

weeps into your son’s


“they coiled themselves among us”

it was very arterial (if I

may use the word) on the

bridge, a man had taken to

selling photographs of the

frogs you read the poem

and they imposed a curfew


why not thenbuy

a big fucking white

Lincoln and drive it to

Babylontrade my

oily heart for technical

valoror cruise old

North Carolinaride

shotgun to some scrap

metal Vishnuwhat

fucking question?

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