Burning the Nests
Atop an orchard ladder my father
stands half-hidden by the black cherry's
tangled branches, holding a gasoline-soaked
rag wrapped on the end of a broomstick.
He flicks open his silver lighter, tells us
to stand back as the torch ignites
and he thrusts the burning thing up
where the white nets of caterpillars
tent the upper branch tips. A terrible
crackling like singed hair
fills the early April evening
as we squeal, and the smoldering
bits of caterpillars fall to the ground.
Weeks later we will eat the spicy
meat of the cherries, not even thinking
of this carnage. Or if we do, only
as the kind of work that fathers
will do, for their children.
From What's Written on the Body, Copper Canyon 2007
Had an interesting afternoon meeting with Chris Diani on at his place on Queen Anne to record a reading of my poem "Gay Test" for a cable TV program in Seattle, called Gay City TV. I have *no idea* how this will turn out, but it was sure fun to meet Chris. He is a local film-maker, whose most recent piece is a love child of Ed Wood and John Waters, titled "Creature from the Pink Lagoon." Check it out!