this thing

we all seem to like to do

gets overlaid

burdened by any everything

& like all drugs

so much simpler to the young

do it for a while

& if it keeps being good

keep on doing it

if not stop

try something else

until we find

we’ve bought in too far

over our heads deep

got debt babies cars homes

lawns to cut

work to go to every day


for this thing we like to do

tried to put a rope on

only caught ourselves

making promises


I said I would never do

making promises

along our way

I let go of you

tearing breaking apart

everything I’d said done

& said I would never do

you looked at me

beyond sad

beyond understanding

not the person

you thought I was

& that was the problem

far as I could see

I had reached out for you

too many times too often

found you not there

preoccupied inside

by your own thoughts

too far away

to come to me

badger ham & Hem’

Hem said

“always do sober what you promised to do drunk

that way you’ll learn fast to keep your mouth shut”

part of my learning was badger ham

late in the afternoon I was talking as ever

on something I’d read about poverty

how in the country if you tried hard enough

there was always something to eat

how a badgers back thighs can be used as ham

& two days later one got dragged dead into the bar

with a raised eyebrow you wanted this?

I set to out back with a pocket knife

a saw from next door & plastic bags

setting the back thighs into brine that night

for about a week or so

then hung them inside a fine mesh cage

in the breeze between two trees

for another month in that cool spring

& people kept on asking me about them

when you gonna bring ‘em in?

& as the weather began to rise up

I took them nicely cured into the bar

set ‘em up with a sharp carving knife

& turned everybody had fled

I had gone that one step too far