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Daniel D'Angelo

The End of Runaway Horses


I get all these options: knife

myself, knife nobody, or wait

and knife all ten of the guys

when they rage from the woods

out to my ocean death cliff pale,

troubled, dressed badly, balding,

freaked out that I killed Baron

Steven—an old, amicable human

with nice candles and an oatmealian

wife. And I hope my

friends knifed all of the guys

they were supposed to knife.

I wait on the ocean cliff at the edge

of the woods with two knives one

for me one for the men

who woke up to kill me.


When the knifings end: the bright

disc of the sun will soar up and

explode behind my eyelids, I say,

in my post-facto diary at dead sea

on cliff by pretty trees in woods.

Over the edge of the cliff

I look down at the water, Windexing

the beach then wiping it off, like

a threat to pull the beach from

the coast, pull the cliff off the woods,

pull the woods away from Baron

Steven’s old-money house. I did

just kill him. He has plus-signs

for eyes. Still no sun

at all. It’s a shitty weather day

for all its many-knifed possibilities.

Elephant-skin cloud cover. Low

temperatures. Fierce middle-aged

males ooze through the trees.




The End of the Naïve Sailor                                                           



I plus a ship plus my men,

left home to sail toward and kill

a beast from a younger version

of my planet. It took all the insanity

I could lay my hands on. Months

of sailing passed. At some point

my men and I went onto its island of acute

shapes and obtuse shapes and angles

of rock that bothered the men.

Then, central on the island,


I found it, woke up its face,

full of feelers. Woke it up

from its polymillenial nap. I fed

my men to it—let it cleave the

men apart like killed, cloven

sunfish. Its stink. Its age.  Its

face, full of eyes, too. I let the slow

beast chase me back into the waters.

I sailed away. It swam after me. I turned

my boat around and rammed it at full

speed knowing I could otherwise

safely flee. 


Aye, my ship smashed its pre-earth goo

form into less-sentient sub-goo.

Then, satisfied or something, I

boated home, bloated by horror—

murder, I, lover of. Salt and rest.

Slushy nastiness. I woke it up.

Kill me with ocean later. I feel

dark now. The sea smells.






The End in the Snow Country



The elephant, with whom I

was very close, on a friend level, moved

his family into the snow country.


I visited him. I was upset about human

things. I said some things. He wrestled a gun from my hands

and shot me twice, to death. After that


I haunted his family’s house for years. 

A ton of emotional snow grew up above all

the windows, burying the


elephants in the house. I haunted

his family’s house so much

his wife and sons left him. He, all


tusky, enraged, clumsy, eventually

slipped and fell down the stairs

and died. Soon after life, he found


me, strangled me cold with his stumped

elephant hands.  Alas, no death

for the dead, no love among them,


I mean us—me and him, the elephant.

His wife and sons did well for a time in their

separate living endeavors. Later, the dead


elephant and I found his family’s new house

elsewhere in the snow country. We haunted

the new house. Haunted it and them to death.


It took years.  As spirits we killed spirit.

Revenant elephant. Always so much snow

in our shared afterlife presence.


I continued to spend time with him. I had

nothing else going on. He

shot me, which was bullshit I couldn’t


get over. Bullshit he couldn’t get over.

We lay white under the night sky

at a signaled stop.

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