david jewell poet

words. photos. images. whatnot.

my pet tarantula

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I saw my pet tarantula crossing the highway about a mile down the road.
Out in west Texas. Where the road is so long and straight and flat it was easy
to see my pet tarantula crossing the road. I got to him before he was clear across,
and pulled over, and stopped, and got out, and walked up to him and said hello.

He had no idea he was my pet tarantula––I told him I had named him Edward,
becasue that’s the name that just popped inside my head one day. He kept
walking across the road, somewhat Gruffily I thought––and said again that
he had no idea he was My pet tarantula, and would just as soon keep it that way.

I said, Fine. Have it your way. And drove off. I’ll admit, a bit disappointed and

Then I realized, well, hell, he can still be my pet tarantula whether he
knows about it, or not.

In my mind, his Is still my pet tarantula, wherever he is, and I wish him well.
In his mind, well, I probably don’t exist. I hope he doesn’t have some restentment
about it anyway. What did I ever do to him?


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A panther looks me in the eyes from a cave in the back of my brain––
whether he is purring or growling is hard to say.
The thunder murmur from his chest and throat stays at low boil,
without effort, asleep or awake.
Whether it is a he or a she is also hard to say––
it seems to change back and forth––at times very feminine,
at times masculine––
always languid with a capacity for immediate
extreme brutality.

This panther lives in a cave at the back of my skull
and I would like to let it roam more freely through my body––
claw my heart––crawl through my bones––
leap out of my eyes or mouth as anger and passion,
move my feet,
turn my hands to claws.

If my body were as relaxed as the muscles of a panther at rest
there is nothing I could not accomplish.

barton springs morning

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graveyard. boothill. paradise. coifed. glasses.

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I been to boothill but I ain’t there now.
take off your glasses and look at the roses.
the blushing pink cheeks of spring.
here it comes again and then it goes away.

some say the grave is like an airport to paradise.
others roll the dice and try to find paradise walking
like, above the ground. roll them dice.
roll them bones. it goes around and around.

that sun tanned well coifed meter maid.
who knows where she goes on her days off.
takes off those shades and lets her hair down.
angel of deliverance. angel of mercy.
who’s to say they ain’t one and the same.

at the barbecue

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The barbecue
out behind the nitro-glycerine factory
where the kids were playing
with dynamite sticks,
it seemed to me
there was a bit of tension
in the air––

and Betty and I were bickering
Finally, it rained,
and everyone had to go home.

I asked Betty
what we were fighting about––
she took a deep breath,
then started laughing,
and said she couldn’t remember

When we got home we noticed,
that in spite of the rain,
our house had burned down
while we were out.

Don’t worry about it, said Betty,
this gives us a good excuse
to stay at that posh hotel downtown,
or maybe
get out of town altogher.
Why not?

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a sweet voice in the clearing
reaching a point of understanding
having nothing particular to say,
waiting for the cat to leap

from the bag of memory,
watching television
upside down, listening to
commercials backwards,

culling the time–waitng
for a toothache to disappear
in the worn hypnotic night,
drinking cognac every minute

and lighting expensive
french cigarettes
with gold lighters
after dining at the castle,

while waves lick the
shoreline and everything
is forgotten once again.




August 2013
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