In which JOB talks turkey


This from my boss’s radio show.

(I show up at around the 37:00 mark.)

So, of course, another poem…

Wheels Off, Hubcaps Flying

– For Chris Carstens

Like a discovered paramour on the wing
The big bird bounded headlong
Over the highway’s single-filed field of vision.
Baroque-phallused, this inverted comma
Paused mid-air, defying death with arrow-headed syntax.

Its gnarled feathers gripped a roost of air
And plunged, obscene as a pump handle,
In awkward, under-practiced flight,
Like a virginal attempt at Kitty Hawk
Or a gunning last gasp for von Richthofen.

What’s with this ungainly target of esteem
And approbation? – and especially come November
And early spring, the twin seasons
When wood smoke’s scent is best
To itch the scratch of fletch and knock –

At first sight it’s all bagpipe
On a pair of reptilian feet, a bellows married
By nature to a pink bassoon with black eyes. Second looks show
Its sixth sensed allowances. That parched tickle
At the back of the throat recalls

The amber verities, bottlenecked in highest proof.
But with a tug and wag of gorgeously engorged wattles
And a tom-tom’s tympanic swagger
The musical tickle at the back of its own throat
Rakes blood’s embers to say:

Play with me and you play with cunningness
Only matched by the fire of forest floor decay.
A clever fire throbbing snood and beard
And setting woods in early darkness,
Dripping with dawn or dusk, rain or snow

And hunter’s sweaty self-chastisement,
The kind that comes from spinning tires in the brain,
Frustrated with ice and mud,
Waiting with tearful patience in too much quiet
For the leafy dance of horny spurs to end:

As carelessly, fearlessly, Tom and Jake slough off
The forest silence, dodging
Thick vertical lines of timber, ducking through
A parenthetical mess of underbrush
And zipping safely past shafts of profanity

Steel-tipped with love and razor-sharp with hate.


  1. Jonathan Potter says

    Good poem, good interview. Nice Beowulf reference. “It starts the night before, as all good turkeys must. The key is the brine.” And the six pack. And the breast reveal. And the herb butter under the skin.

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