Bill Knott



The wooden horses
are tired of their courses

and plead from head to hoof
to be fed to a stove—

In leaping lunging flames
they’ d rise again, flared manes

snapping like chains behind them.
The smoke would not blind them

as do these children’ s hands:
beyond our cruel commands

the fire will free them then
as once the artisan when

out of the tree they
were nagged to this neigh.

The Consolations of Sociobiology

Those scars rooted me. Stigmata stalagmite
I sat at a drive-in and watched the stars
Through a straw while the Coke in my lap went
Waterier and waterier. For days on end or

Nights no end I crawled on all fours or in
My case no fours to worship you: Amoeba Behemoth.
— Then you explained your DNA calls for
Meaner genes than mine and since you are merely

So to speak its external expression etcet
Ergo among your lovers I’ ll never be...
Ah that movie was so faraway the stars melting

The Golden Age

is thought to be a confession, won by endless
torture, but which our interrogators must
hate to record — all those old code names, dates,
the standard narrative of sandpaper
throats, even its remorse, fall ignored. Far

away, a late (not lost) messenger stares,
struck by window bargains or is it the gift
of a sudden solicitude: is she going to
lift up her shadow’ s weight, shift hers
onto it? She knows who bears whom. In