Our Father who art in heaven, I am drunk.
For which I offer thanks.
I ought to start with praise, but praise
comes hard to me.
Did I tell you
about the woman, whom I taught, in bed,
this prayer? It starts with praise; the simple form
keeps things in order.
I hear from her sometimes.
Do you? And after love, when I was hungry,
I said, Make me something to eat.
Poof! You're a casserole! - and laughed so hard
she fell out of bed.
Take care of her.
Next, confession - the dreary part.
deer drift from the dark woods and eat my garden.
They're like enormous rats on stilts except,
of course, they're beautiful.
But why? What makes
them beautiful? I haven't shot one yet.
When I was twelve I'd ride my bike
out to the dump and shoot the rats.
to kill your rats, our Father.
You have to use
a hollow point and hit them solidly.
A leg is not enough.
The rat won't pause.
Yeep! Yeep! it screams, and scrabbles, three-legged, back
into the trash, and I would feel a little bad
to kill something that wants to live
more savagely than I do, even if
it's just a rat.
My garden's vanishing.
Perhaps I'll plant more beans, though that
might mean more beautiful and hungry deer.
I'm sorry for the times I've driven
home past a black, enormous, twilight ridge.
Crested with mist it looked like a giant wave
about to break and sweep across the valley,
and in my loneliness and fear I've thought,
O let it come and wash the whole world clean.
This is my favorite sin: despair-
whose love I celebrate with wine and prayer.
Our Father, thank you for all the birds and trees,
that nature stuff.
I'm grateful for good health,
food, air, some laughs, and all the other things I've never had to do
I have confused myself.
there's not a rattrap large enough for deer.
While at the zoo last week, I sat and wept
when I saw one elephant insert his trunk
into another's ass, pull out a lump,
and whip it back and forth impatiently
to free the goodies hidden in the lump.
I could have let it mean most anything,
but I was stunned again at just how little
we ask for in our lives.
Don't look! Don't look!
Two young nuns tried to herd their giggling
Line up, they called, Let's go
and watch the monkeys in the monkey house.
I laughed and got a dirty look.
we lurch from metaphor to metaphor,
which is -let it be so- a form of praying.
I'm usually asleep by now -the time
As if I'd stayed
up late and called the radio and asked
they play a sentimental song.
I want a lot of money and a woman.
And, also, I want vanishing cream.
a character like Popeye rubs it on
Although you see right through him,
He chuckles, stumbles into things,
and smoke that's clearly visible escapes
from his invisible pipe.
It make me think,
sometimes, of you.
What makes me think of me
is the poor jerk who wanders out on air
and then looks down.
Below his feet, he sees
eternity, and suddenly his shoes
no longer work on nothingness, and down
As I fall past, remember me.