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How It happens: Introduction, Duckman & Drone


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How It happens: Introduction
Drone & Duckman, con/jur/d, 4/6/2021

Almost didn’t write a poem today,
the saying goes, “The arrow has flown by.”

Hard not to feel it, with Lilly’s 
coming up between the old graves.

Listening to something several friends gestured
to; the story goes it happened because

Carlos Castaneda was swearing at Chicken-Boy,
if we back up to this morning, I wrote notes on,

Duckman, the ex-drone pilot,
sitting feeding the ducks finding equanimity,

ranting how all the males were rapists,
and how, before he knew, he imagined migrating

across mountains filled with: 
weddings, lonely orphans, rough-just-people.

He always fired feathers, no bullets, no bombs.
Who wouldn’t want a down comforter,

as a wedding gift, one bright sunny day,
miles from watching eyes, only a lonely, flockless

duck on the horizon. Once back to ground, he
trained them to stay, hoping cold kills painlessly.

When he found out, feathers were missiles,
and Mallards were, ‘violent, ugly, dangerous,’

he found he was able to make an exchange,
a frozen ‘’Pressed’ for a memory of flying,

back into the unknowable air,
He had lost: The sun rising above clouds,

tail feathers comically coming apart,
forming question marks as he flew fast,

a distant boom the only sign
he had been there.

The rest, the blood, the telescoped gore,
were still with him, maybe this winter???

Out of affection, you understand,
I called him Duckboy.

A gloriously spoiled youth, wasted,
playing games for military men,

undone, disappearing like Carlos,
by the sight of him cursing, cursing,
with the force and art available only to old 
soldiers seeing a  statue of a man’s body

with a bird’s head. kidnapping the story,
the Drake switches teams,

joins a raft of hens
and Duckboy ages, the hand with the stale

bread has dark suspicious liver spots,
obviously, he is used to living rough.

And the sacks around him,
Paper, canvas, and plastics, upcycled once too often,

overflow with stories.
His time as drone-pilot being the least, least

interesting, barely a footnote, in a well-used life.
He was mostly drunk in Hawaii.

He had 2 kids by 2 different women.
He believed the job and the man were always

divergent narratives not for uniting.
Most of the time he was bored,

except when surfing big waves, or
watching Roosters crow on Caribbean beaches.

At night he dreamed of escaping,
of being someone else, anyone else.

He went looking, eventually finding me,
and I can’t even write him one, damn, poem.

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