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Philip Muller

You Are Just A Man Holding A Hacksaw



your gods get drunk

and twist

the limbs off their toy humans

you load fish off a truck

like the heater in your basement

you are in your basement

designing a wolf suit

you make a list of things to leave ashore

you make a gun shape with your hand

to shoot down the birds

look at that girl in her moccasins

the balloon gaggle at the park

you turmeric

you yerba

you oats

sedge and rockweed

you dirt across your arms

you pulpy innards

you forest

near the edge of town

you at the stove with your stepmother

she is teaching you to make mole




Back In Tulsa



Once all my airplanes had blue stripes. Once I looked when told not to. Once I cut a

man’s hair and he shook my hand for an hour. Once I wore a dress and stood in the

moment forever. Once I held the American Revolution in my hand and it was shaped like

a can. Once my basement flooded. Once I washed a baby and that baby was singing

“Stranger in Moscow.” Once cast iron. Once hatchet. Once three flies and a spool of



Once I dug a pool where the boxing match had been. Once I sat inside and listened to my

neighbors. Once I threw a frozen wolf.  Once I broke it over my lap and walked home

with the residue on my slacks. Once a seal. Once the mud. Once I got Euphrates

Syndrome and they buried me in roasted ginger. Once I went in with my clothes on. Once

I paddled straight out. Once the rigging snapped. Once my sister fell in the ice and turned

pink, then blue. Her hand was so cold.

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