How to Kill a Wolf

Nihilism lurks in the shadows with breath
like old age and mustard gas, calling

You will believe in me one day –
one day, when you believe in nothing.

I laugh in the face of the monster
as only a child can

and retort:

The day you kidnap and eat me
I will tear a hole in your stomach
and climb back out.

This is the logic that defies logic,
and the only logic that works.


29 thoughts on “How to Kill a Wolf

    1. Thanks a million, Johnny! I must say, I’m loving our rapid-fire exchanges tonight 😀 We’re diving back into the heart of it — back, always, into the heart of poetry. NaPoWriMo sure is a magical time.

      1. Haha! Yes, I need this. I am putting the cart before the creative horse, or trying to, anyway. My creative output has faded to a bare trickle, so I am forcing myself to finish things. Seems like it has worked in Aprils past.

        1. I think it would reinforce the “logic-that-defies-logic” idea, which to me is Fairy Tale Logic exactly. All the really great Fairy Tales have that. They make sense, just not the usual sense.

          1. That’s perfect! I often struggle with knowing when to spell out references and when to let my readers do the work for themselves. Thank you so much for the tip! Your edit strengthens the poem a thousandfold.

            “Fairy Tale Logic” was the exact phrase I had in mind when I wrote this 🙂 It is my favorite kind of logic.

            1. And sometimes I don’t even have any idea what the hell *I’m* talking about in a poem, so I throw caution to the wind and figure the reader and I will hopefully figure it out together. It is surprising how often the reader tells me what I am talking about. I say “talking about” like a planet “orbits about” its sun. I often think of these things (poems) like little solar systems or constellations of concepts that orbit about each other, often barely holding themselves together, sometimes tearing themselves apart.

              1. Exactly! I don’t know what I’m doing, either! Just making it all up as I go along, like every other artist since the dawn of time…

                I truly believe that poetry is a collaborative effort on the part of the reader and the writer. We don’t distance our audience; we invite them closer. We ask: “What does this poem mean? You tell me.” And what’s amazing: their responses are often more thoughtful than the poems themselves.

                What a beautiful process. What a beautiful solar system we have made, together.

                1. Aaahhh…..I just wrote this in my journal:

                  when we write and share a poem, we are entering into a bargain
                  with the reader, asking them to help us figure out what it is that
                  we are saying, to help us divine the meaning, to go to the temple
                  with us and share the cost of the sacrificial lamb, and help us
                  read the entrails.

                2. On this note, have you read Robert Pinsky’s “Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry”?

                  It is brilliant and speaks directly to this aspect of the writing of poetry.
                  Highly recommend it.

Thoughts? I love those.

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