the savage ravaging chainsaw
eating through still morning air
swooping unseen down from somewhere
clawing its way from deep inside the forest
to me, here, listening intensely
to all its echoed misdirections;
I could never hope to find where it starts;
can’t hear the birds
can’t hear the dry Fall twigs snap beneath my feet
can hear that metal ripper in my chest
tearing its way out into the frost-charged air
as I move carefully forward
betting against the sunset to find
the muscle-rippled holder of the chainsaw
it stops suddenly in mid-rrrring
moving on to yet another splintering hope
hear me coming
I’m ready to take your place
or at least be cut down
After the set of abstract dances I wanted a piece with a clear narrative line. The Dances tell an interior story, I guess, but they deal with introspective pretensions & unresolved, unresolvable moping around.
Woodsman on the other hand is, at least, the fragment of a story with poetic overtones 🙂 Even now I like sonics of this piece the way the RRR is underscored by the opening lines, ‘r’ resonates all through the first long verse. My use of language and sonics is deliberate: ‘metal ripper’ is nicely echoed by ‘muscle-rippled;’ ‘twigs snap’ bounced by ‘splintering hope.’
There was a real moment when I heard a chainsaw in the forest. Not an unusual sound on the east coast, mind you, but it is one of those noises that doesn’t mix well with its surroundings. Aggressive, insistent & somehow very masculine. So what is being heard isn’t merely the saw but the the cultural push to be a manly man.
A push that drowns out anything else – a noise that says this us how to be a man, a man can’t act certain ways – if he does ‘real’ manliness drowns out everything, even logic. A ‘real man uses women, it’s his right. A ‘real’ man doesn’t question where this push started, he just follows it. In the end I’m willing to follow but the woodsman is going to have to accept me on my terms.
I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.