A Web Del Sol Chapbook Selection
William Slaughter



1. Poet Lying Down

Looking for a poem,
he must have

about the country-
side, turning
over rocks,

wine from a goat-
skin bag. Now,

in a field,
empty as the bag
or the rocks,

he sprawls
in the dirt, humming
himself to sleep.

Suddenly, a farm
grows out of his head
—blue, green.

Even the animals,
munching grass
by the barn

in the back-
ground, ignore
the poet lying down.

2. Drinker

I too have drunk
and seen the chicken
with two heads

the color of wine
come out of the bottle
to take the place

of the dead fish
on my writing table.
And I have put

the knife in my hand
(with which I was
going to clean the fish)

to good use. I have
cut off my head with it,
that I might

have something
to offer you—in place
of chicken, that is.

3. Rabbi with a Lemon

Chagall’s rabbi with a lemon
in his hand
has come to the temple
to celebrate a feast day.
That much is obvious.
You can tell it
by the way he walks,
without knowing anything
about his religion,
which is Jewish.
He has dressed for the occasion
as you would expect—
in a black robe and a white hood,
clothes that fit
a man of such position.
On top of his skull cap,
(God knows how he got there),
is a man just like him,
only without a lemon
in his hand—
for which there is no explanation.

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