Winter 2001


G Mark DeFoe


Taking off my boots, I found a lost hook
Snagged in my sock. I got away clean.
Lucky, I said, luckier than those trout
I jerked out to gulp and flop in rasping air. 

At breakfast, I ordered ham. Poor Pig, I gnawed
On slices of your gorgeous rump that wallowed
Once in pleasure while you squealed pure pig joy.
Oh, I see what Hell I have made myself. 

A stinging, biting, ripping revenge of all
Clubbed rabbits, crushed ants, chopped earthworms, gassed rats,
Bluegill I tossed on the bank, spiders trod to pulp--
Pay back time for all I trod down. Pay back 

For flocks of chickens and herds of cattle
Fallen to my gluttony. Pay back for
Secret greater crimes. Hell's fisherperson's
Will impale me, ass to eyeball, pluck off 

My arms, crack me like a rotten melon,
Thrust barbed steel into my jaw, toss me out, bait
For some other soul ravenous for guilt.
Satan will watch, enjoying his picnic-- 

A nut-brown thigh, a plump breast, cherry lips,
Peachy cheeks, lady fingers, cauliflower
Ears, and his long-time down-home favorite,
A sizzling pan of liver and testicles.

G Mark DeFoe


The way the car rode when the road rose
and banked and fell over
the hill to the town, that was good.
The roadside park with one table and one 

old oak and two blue spruce.
And the Dekalb sign for the feed mill
and Clara's Cafe that served

And Buddy's IGA. And off to the east
that sweep of fine pasture with the big pond
and the wind-bent willows and the cows there,
sometimes knee-deep in the shallows
beating the summer heat. 

And one stoplight, always green.
But I slowed near the school because
I didn't want to hit some decent kid,
And I waved at the crossing guard lady. 

And the five big houses, set back,
So I could admire their white columns
and in the spring the oriental splashes
of dogwood and redbud and azalea. 

The sign for Dr. Trout--eye, ear, nose and throat.
And the billboard of Lawyer Hufflebarger,
Whose grin grinned wider each year but his slogan
"- Get what you deserve -"
Always gave me pause. 

Then another curve and there the famous
Purple House and I was through, the road
opening before me, running true, going
away, going where I was headed.


G Mark DeFoe's work has been widely published and anthologized, appearing in Paris Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, Poetry Ireland Review, Michigan Quarterly Review and many others. He has published three chapbook, the latest, AIR, from Green Tower Press.



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