Two Poems

A Guide to the Wild Divine

become unreasonable—
            tell yourself terrible things;

say, I am anathema. Or—

I seem to have this dog’s heart—
            a shark’s determination

crave impossibility—

or infamy—
            a child’s immorality—

say, wildfire or wildflowers—say, witch—
           this wasp-stung heart     is flaming at that stake

I am this dark forest—burning in silence
I am enrapt with the beauty     and magic of tragedy

infatuated with that captive heart

know that fanaticism
            as a bright fire in the mind—

beyond all extinguishing

practice further—the artistry of the fool—
            the tenacity—or transparency—of flame and spirit

(after all,
you’ve made a fine Icarus—all wax and wick)

(another fallen martyr—to no God)


remember: the slaughter of animals
                                     was all we found in the sun

its honeyed light—is only venom
                                     (a final poison of idle hives)

daily each chrysalis is shed—

as a wild monstrosity writhes within—aching for rebirth


Let these be the first tentative scratchings of a last testament—

the markings of the animal mind

Broken Ode

in fugitive release, the atomic oleander reinvents the color red—pink—white—
in the fields, little flowers riot in yellow—after long devastation—nothing lost—
lilies stick out their tongues, in lewd abandon—and
renewed audacity—
beauty and bloom are rebellion—
the savage grace of sexuality—suddenly unabashed—
Nature, gone renegade—in reckless surrender
to danger and elation, all anger unlearned—
calumny is—cut from me—

            —who am I kidding? this landscape speaks
            a language of disease—a cannibal, carnivorous thing
            of thorn and sting—of tooth and poison—
            this land tied down by telephone wire,
            held in by fences, comprehends
            only hunger—hatred—every flower
            is a petty pretense—every petal
            a profanity, in wanton
            disregard for
            and waste of life—
            waste of everything . . .

AARON LEININGER is a poet whose work has appeared in Gravel, Buck Off Magazine, the Oakland Arts Review, and the Rising Phoenix Review, among others. He is currently at work on his debut collection—tentatively titled Bastard Animal—and lives in Redding, California.
The Adirondack Review