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/eric tyler benick

fox hunt

even in death it’s about having the biggest obelisk

fox beneath the sourwoods of south brooklyn questions cemetery meanings

the stones of dead mayors a vile conglomerate still scheming in rot

fox feels offended where can one go to watch the scarlet tanagers

without the strong-armed intersection of bureaucracy            most of us can’t afford a mausoleum

many of us will be wrapped in gauze and tossed into the communal pit the rest ash-subjugated

or banefully boxed even in death there’s nary a place to lay one’s head

maybe fox is merely a pathos and if truth resides in darkness we must feel our way there

remember a catacombs is also a document so many indelible scoundrels

and only now have we begun to punish their effigies even in death fox thinks even in death they displace me

fox hunt

a fox friday is more like tuesday morning when all the rifles are locked up in westchester

there’s no crowd at the met so fox surreptitious by nature can sidle by the egyptian wing

up to the second floor enormous room of rooms where  he encounters the oil massacre of his many bodies

it’s the only time fox can loosen his tongue enough to wail openly his cries echoed by the empty chamber and returned to him charged and contrapuntal

foxes don’t know a lot about history but neither do painters which makes for a dramatic exchange with very little subtext

there are no fox memories only instincts and so fox doesn’t stress for significance but threads his tapestry of behaviors which does the meaning for him

it looks a lot like learning but corporeal like altering blood flow or optimizing digestion with only the intimations of stillness

by the time the crowd arrives fox is long gone besides it’s friday the eagles are high on the hunt their nests left empty and ample with eggs

fox hunt

fox does not strive to be indelible but impresses himself briefly against the signals[1] of his passing

stein may have been slick with her rose tautology but the rose has never considered stein

and has kept rosing and unrosing through time’s exhaustive shadow despite attempts to reify its roseness

a fox language is like a rose language except hungrier[2] the stakes much higher in his plucking

he knows everything is meaningless that cannot sustain the day and how pretentious to die empty like a signifier

no one has written a poem in a fox language spicer was maybe closest when he said (as if there were nothing on the mountains but

what nobody wanted to escape from) which is the best we can hope for fox with no reason to tell us anything

[1] a fox language is not a gibberish or a glossolalia not a marker of meaning but an instinctual taxonomy

[2] for what use is a word that doesn’t fill you up nomenclature is a breadless winter fox could never survive the dictionary

Eric Tyler Benick  is the author of the chapbooks I Don’t Know What an Oboe Can Do (No Rest Press, 2020) and The George Oppen Memorial BBQ (The Operating System, 2019) as well as a founding editor at Ursus Americanus Press, a publisher of chapbooks. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Washington Square Review, Vassar Review, Entropy, Mount Island, No, Dear, Reality Beach, Ghost Proposal, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.

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