Skip to content →

Category: Tod Marshall

Unsustainable

 

Four does and a buck haunt the neighborhood

At night this winter, scavenging pears

And apples, rooting compost bins, a clear

Sign of suburban sprawl my Green Friend said

At a benefit dinner for Watershed

Restoration. She’s probably right. She cares

Deeply about these things, Warming, and Fair

Trade, local/global stuff. She gave me head,

Later, in her Prius, and when they came,

My moans were muffled. Wiping up, she seemed

Perturbed and started the car. “What’s wrong?”

I regretted the question. She must have blamed

Me for something. “You. You’re so fucking tame.

You can’t even let loose while getting blown.”

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Art Walk

 

Water buffalo guts spattered and strung over boulders and scrub trees, splatted in one especially grotesque pile at the rocky bottom of the cliff. Doug, the cart driver (he chose an American name to ease the tourist’s anxiety over pronouncing Phuc) was drunk, and the steep zig-zagging mountain trail steeply zigged and zagged, and that’s about it: Kate, the American, and her husband, Richard, leapt clear and took these photos hung on First Friday when the galleries offer wine, crackers, cheese, and a plastic tray of fruit. Even in black and white, the intestines glisten like oozy scarves draped over the rounded belly and sloping back, one horn dangling by a few tendons. And there’s that one of Doug, his toothless face unmistakably laughing—“We’d asked him for a refund if he wasn’t going to be able to take us deep into Virachey National Park,” Kate explained and explains again and again over the course of the evening. A water buffalo climbs a mountain, slips on scree at the edge of the path, twists against a yoke, and then takes to air, hurtling 154 feet. I want to know who butchered the body, who chopped up the steaks. I want to ask, “What happened to the meat?”

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Honey Do

 

Soon this northern city will be just another aisle,

stacks of ketchup and racks of white blouses

 

within spitting distance. They invite you in,

say have a nice day, greeters charged to help

 

find what you’re looking for: just milk

and bread. Pay the plastic fee, slide a card,

 

and get to the list of chores. I’m pouring concrete

into many holes, letting it dry, trying to finish

 

before the first hard freeze, steel poles sticking

straight up.That pile of boards? Call it a fence.

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Yard Work

 

No apples on the Braeburn tree. Some years, they

do that, you say. Your father, the expert gardener,

told you so. I’m gloomy. I see portents, doom,

disaster. Our neighbor mows his lawn every third day.

His name is Gideon, and he claims that someone

named a lamp after him. Click goes the switch.

 

Start the mower: upside-down helicopter

chopping grass instead of sky. Meanwhile,

the pinwheel across the street, among daisies,

daffodils, and a towering sunflower, spins

like a turbine just before takeoff, passengers

fastening belts, actually listening to advice, learning

how to float on something that’s supposed to be a seat.

from BugleFind more by Tod Marshall at the library

Copyright © 2014 Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

The Catch

He drags a stringer of sunfish at dusk,

one fat bass at the end of nylon cord

looped through dirty gills, and slips by his mother

(watching TV) to fill the tub and dump

stiff fish afloat with shampoo bottles, soap,

and a bright yellow duck. What is hope?

A sharp tug that proves he chose the right jig?

A shore where only children shout? How big

a channel cat or bass might be? His damp clothes

dry on the towel rod. A hush replaces

dusk. He sleeps in a chair. His mother

cleans the tub. A family is hard scale

on which to weigh the keepers, a cutting board

covered with guts, a slit from gills to tail.

from Poetry Northwest 06.1 Spring & Summer 2011More by Tod Marshall from the library

Copyright © Tod Marshall
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

css.php