Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jack London (1910)

Jack London  (1910)

Wind cuts through the manzanitas
like a last breath.  London never knew
his father.  He feeds tag-alongs
at his redwood table in Glen Ellen,
employs dozens to build and sail
the flawed Snark.  Then the stone house
burns like folding money.  He cuts a slice
from a chunk of plug tobacco, offers it
to Charian.  A writer is just a fellow
going bare knuckles against the ghost of God.
London needs booze or a woman's legs twined
around him to get a night's warm sleep.
I invented debt.  He cannot choose
between Marx and Darwin: the wolf is alone.

This poem is included in a Red Shuttleworth poetry chapbook, Brief Lives.

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