The Wolf

it was half-past the time of day
when no road was the right road
when all the churches were empty
and the blues lit up like a highway
over the dank
southern sun

vibes on the street
had me feeling like
second hand news, the
way the sun beat the tile
the steel breeze, the laugh
of the trees bouncing off a
rusted milk bottle and me with
“L.A. Woman” in my
headphones flipping a pair of
lonely old dice

when i came up on a man
talking into a heart-shaped mirror
glass glaring like a giant ruby
in the specters of the sun
and the closer i got
i could see this was no
regular looking glass by the
the deep sides, the heaps of
golden rings along the trim
all glowing like some kind of
moonlit starfish

first off *hops up on a park bench
makeshift bum pulpit* there’s a
life within your life, and that’s the wolf,
the wolf is the miracle within, baby girl, it’s
your genius, the blood that gives
life to your blood—look close—that face
is the soul of the universe
howling in your bones

that’s what this mirror’s for, it’s
made for double eyes, that’s what
i call ‘em, for seeing without seeing
i’ll tell you now *wiggling his finger all
over that heart-shaped glass*

every mirror’s got a back,
but this one’s got two,
one’s inside and one goes
through, this one’s made for seeing
and the other’s made for seeing anew

i took a tall sip of coffee and
got considering i might stop talking
to strangers, but just then i saw a glimmer
of something in the backside
of that mirror i still can’t shake, a
ruby vision, a set of eyes like a shockwave
that took me right
down to my knees

the wolf is the shape of the face you see
when your eyes are closed and you’re
down and out and you’re praying to
something to see you through, he says,
it’s the genius that answers the call,
but—this you gotta remember
don’t let your ego
compromise your integrity
you must always be open
to the possibility that you are wrong
and don’t take it personally
the most courageous acts
of genius often happen by accident
genius is courage
and whatever you do,
don’t let too much technology
cheapen your experience
the most courageous thing
you can do is be you now
let your workin’ mind rest
so the life within can take over
that’s what those eyes do

*hops down hairy-eyed from that
park bench pulpit waving his hands
around like some kind of
whirling tomato and gives me
ten dollars for bus fare
and a beer*

genius isn’t
genius if it
isn’t having fun

13 thoughts on “The Wolf

    1. Thank you very much. With poems like this one, that is always my hope: to convey (or at least approximate) some sort of wisdom/truth/universal experience that resonates on a deeper level. Your kind words are encouraging.

      Liked by 2 people

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