Drumhead Court-Martial

Help me carry this poet back to his cave.
He wore his dust jacket to the dinner party,
and he, hot with infection, tried to smear 
cold cream on his brain. One cannot pull
his hair out at the salon and claim to be a molten bird. 
There is a great difference between marble and plumage.

And ignore the poet’s complaints: the mouth
of the cave smells like a foot because of its diet.

Prey have eyes on the side of their head, 
but when I look at you, my son, I know
that you are a predator. Unlike a bird,
I know that you have a large intestine.
Hardware stores cannot keep machetes in stock,
so you the forest with sword will fell.

When you die, I will tell them that you said something important, 
but remember, your last words begin with your first: shoes and socks.


Ezekiel Black is a Lecturer of English at The University of North Georgia. Before this position, he attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he received an MFA in Creative Writing. His poetry and reviews have appeared in VerseSonora ReviewTarpaulin SkyInDigestDrunken BoatCutBankiO: A Journal of New American PoetryUmbrella Factory MagazineBarrelhouse MagazineColumbia: A Journal of Literature and ArtBOAAT, and elsewhere. Lastly, he edits the audio poetry journal Pismire.