Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Self-Portrait as a Snapping Turtle



Highly desirable, the shell’s
more comfortable than the collar
of a dress shirt. The rumpled jowls 
frame an arched expression bolder
yet more benign than my old one.

The pebble-grain complexion
suits a mood that requires many
years of foraging to effect.
Tiny eyes peer through black-rimmed
glasses I’ve drawn on the photo

to prove to friends it’s really me.
Despite their mineral glaze
these eyes see further and deeper
into pond-murk than I could
with my nearsighted hazel pair.

The hog-nose juts straight ahead
with an arrogance no human
could assert without invoking
the audible laughter of fate.
But the horn-hook of the upper jaw,

the “beak,” as some would call it,
justifies investing my soul
and ego in this sultry portrait.
That jaw can sever a finger
as well as drown a duckling.

It could rip any book to rags
and sneer down any argument.
Its fixed eloquence resists
the subtlest formal critique. 
Snugged in a muff of hide as tough

as jerky, I’m irresistible,
a force rather than a creature,
my fixed gaze and my appetite
prehistoric but slow enough
for friends and foes to avoid.

1 comment:

Stacy Lynn Mar said...

Hello William, today whilst relaxing and browsing the blogs here for some literary element I came across your poetry. You are very talented to say the least.

I wanted to ask you personally if you would pay me the honor of publishing some of your poetry in my upcoming online magazine, Muse Cafe Quarterly.

The magazine will be showcasing some award-winning poets, as well as new faces in the July premiere issue.

If you are interested in sharing your work in my online publication please email me at stacylynnmar@yahoo.com so we can begin deciding which pieces to use.

And thank you so very much, for your time, and for sharing your work.