[driven] or [PSALM #49 W/ROY CHOATE & A PAIR OF SNAKES], Dennis Hinrichsen

Laurie Doctor, Mirror Writing from Her Sketchbook
(on the right side
of the book page I did mirror writing
of what is on the left hand side.
All the writing is done
with a shell dipped in sumi or walnut ink).




I was a boy // I had a brain // I couldve used a God


but you gave me nothing // —O pastor // father //

O elder in the back row w/your hearing aids off //

just Bible verse & quasi-pornographic worldview // this

is yours son (handing over keys) pointing everywhere //

& so I took the keys // saw the naked bodies

because Roy Choates father was a nudist in 1962

& had magazines to prove it // men like our fathers

naked // mothers (where was the erotic then) naked too

O uncooked doughiness // grisly patterned hair //

stretch mark // distended tummy // stupid // comic

angle of cock & balls (this is what rules the world?)

I ran because I had drive (was driven) & let the crayfish

be my Lord // set two garter snakes—things I owned—


dripping creekwater—as eucharist—to my willing tongue

Dennis Hinrichsen


Review by Jared Pearce

The need for belief, value, and larger understanding is illustrated very finely here. The contrast of the inventive boy against the aged who won’t communicate and the vulgar who communicate nothing helpful is poignant. The speaker, thinking back to his inventive years, his striving to commune with something beautiful, brings us this contrast: what have I invented lately, where has my silence been placed, what pornographic hollowness has consumed my life?

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