Can I Howl? Eng 7 Assignment

by abubhaji

Art by Higuchi Yuko ~ Words by Abu Bhaji and Eng 7 class:

The assignment was to write an animal poem. I thought it’d be cool to call out every one of my classmates’ animals to join in a stampede… but this is where I ended up. Not knowing their animal choices, I decided to “frankenstein” words, phrases, or images from works they had shared in class. For some reason, Ginsberg’s “Howl” came to mind, as an animal sound. So, I looked it up. I thought I’d use his first line as a springboard for my own silliness. I am proud of this one. Everyone in my class is in this poem. Too cool. 

I’ve met the beast minds of your generation, enthralled by madness, craving
poetic meat,
writing themselves through each ecstatic line, under full moon, transforming
word and Howl
with unstoppable joy as cryptic as Yahweh in foreign tongue, lapping up works crafted by Masters for their use, cleaved from memory by uncurled claws,
who, like spilled pots on castle grounds, leap to their perches, leaving their rabbit foots, leaving their leaves on the side of the hill,
their framed silhouettes
leaning from third to king, each apparition stalking the halls, haunting for jazz, a razzle-dazzle, beckoned to persevere, calling out for morsels of meat;
rhythmic ladles drip poetic stew into word-parched mouths
I’ve mined the beast minds of your generation, lumbered your line, cumbersome as caws cawing, swoops swooping, discrete in my actions, yet
extremely precise, you
who, enraptured with diction, with cat-challenged beds, with folded paper cranes crooning loudly through hills like purple pachyderms and apple butter biscuit bellybutton beads slinking over sweet lavender stalks watch cascading waves pounding down invisible walls, walls of word choice, walls of wailing banshees, while firefleas float over ghost soup in the gray mist moat dissecting
met and morph as is
met man morph to wildebeest, Wendigo bleeds under my nail
digest him slow, visceral aftertaste slick as snail’s trail slugging down my throat clinging like lichen, like logic unliking love written by the Northern Lights shines in the eyes of
deer to the left, tender venison on smallish hooves bleats lycanthropic tones dancing towards dissonance through thorns under valley, a doe
A deer
A female
dear, seeking
visual embraces to line structure, cacophonies of word and sound, of color, hue, and howl, of serpentine bonds
of narration, of the all-elusive anti-narration via videomatica
O’ muse of mine, mirror-mirror is all you need; only look into one and you will see what visual poetry was meant to be; stanza stained cheekbones, spry eyes, couplets bleeding from sultry grin
marrow for the beast minds of your generation, whose entrance no longer colored but bright and brighter still
until better betters best, until beta becomes beast, each grisly tooth lodged into fencepost, facing the pavement, facing oneself, broken like glass;
Am I love? Am I infatuation? Am I animal?
I am cannibal
because of you.