the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




FOUR WORKS
BY APRYL FOX

I AM ALLEN GINSBERG

I am
Allen Ginsberg. I write madly. Passionately. I
am a poem like Allen Ginsberg. Not a poet, a
poem. Can I be as mad as he? If I quiet my mind.
Maybe.

I'm
a madman on the brink of madness. I like it. It tastes
fine, like chocolate cake. I'm hungry. Grab a Snicker's--
that's right, let your teeth rot. Everything rots. All is
rotten.

Life
is hell. Do you feel it, Allen? Your name starts
with "A." My name starts with "A." So does Abe Lincoln,
but he looked better in slacks than either of us, & all is
going to hell. My teeth hurt. I need to go to the dentist's,
but let me ramble on until my feet touch the ground again.
Yes,
this is a poem, but don't let me
win.

================

WHATNOT

If I should be down instead of up,
let me reflect upon
its wrongness.
If I am tall and
short and ugly--all at the same
time, of course--let me reflect in that
ugliness
and discover its meaning.

How am I different from one or
the other? How am I tall, ugly,
or whatnot?
Do you see my ugliness
within? Or is it the way my skin
looks in the moonlight, all pale in palor,
stuck to my
bones like glue?

How beautiful
do you want me to
be, my sweet,
my love? As beautiful
as a sunset or a rose? As tall and graceful
as a mountain?
Well, let's see. Even a mountain's
beauty took millions of years to
form, and
I have a few years left.

================

CERTAIN SIGNS

We are not star-crossed lovers;
our paths have crossed many times.
Outside, it is snowing.

The whiteness
is covering the leaves of the pine
trees.

The white bark is peeling.
I am peeling a potato with my knife in
the kitchen.

A woodpecker on the patio ratatattats
on the wood. Later, I find the number, "8,"
burned in the wood on the back of the house,
and wonder if it is

some sort of sign from God.
I can only guess its meaning.

================

IN THE SNAIL'S HOUSE

There is a snail on the bike path
in front of us, moving in its slow,
carefree way as snails do.
Everywhere it
goes, there are next door neighbors
because the snail carries its house on
its back,
looking for a new place to dwell in.
The shell is made of hard smoothness,
and the snail carries everything it owns on
its back: a four-poster bed,
the cordless phone,
an a signed autograph photo of W.H. Auden,
a dead poet who liked to write about
nature.