He caught
an adolescent’s mind
with sex
and wreckage,
a tragic fall,
and the grotesque
sheep child.
His was poetry
deformed and twisted
and I could not look away.
I had no words of my own
no tongue for lust
or sorrow
mouth open but mute
horny as hell
afraid I was ugly
sure that the world was.
He confirmed that and
changed it in the process.
The long fall turned beautiful
in the end because
any horror could be faced
and become a poem. mjh

18Apr97 – Las Cruces

I wrote this poem 14 years ago today. James Dickey died January 19, 1997. He was among the first modern poets I studied and enjoyed. I tipped my hat to him with my version of The Heaven of Animals.

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