Honk, Pulaski, VA
~3 by James Tate
Back to Nature
You should drive a big red convertible as fast as you can
into the heart of the forest, drink champagne, and say
witty things to all the creatures you meet.
Walk around kicking your tires, and if you meet any
of those endangered Camp Fire Girls, say Wohelo!
Don't you wish you had remembered to pack the pemmican!
If you pull out a white handkerchief you will almost certainly
be mistaken for a deer and shot.
Don't forget to put the top up if it rains.
When you are lost stay where you are.
Sleep is an excellent method for tracking down the jewel thieves.
When you roll over never let your body touch the ground.
Jesus got up one day a little later than usual. He had been dream-
ing so deep there was nothing left in his head. What was it?
A nightmare, dead bodies walking all around him, eyes rolled
back, skin falling off. But he wasn't afraid of that. It was a beau-
tiful day. How 'bout some coffee? Don't mind if I do. Take a little
ride on my donkey, I love that donkey. Hell, I love everybody.
The Parade and After the Parade
The parade was a sad little affair,
three or four tiny witches, a pirate,
a Dalmatian, a black cat, a pair of dice.
There was not even a band or a baton.
A single police car led and the rest of us
community-minded cream puffs maundered around
hoping the spirit would strike us.
A cockroach was talking to a hula-goddess
and nibbling on her lace bodice.
It was a dark day downtown
as we drifted off in space.
And then we returned to our houses
and sat down and cried into our hands,
something about not having had a mother
or a father, and this didn't make us
a freak of nature or anything, and I
patted you on the head and we stared
out the window at the uncoming necessary risks,
an activity we liked very much.
It was like walking at night with a baby
or falling asleep on a donkey
and spitting off a cliff. Otherwise,
we have pretty much forsaken popular hobbies,
such as wearing camouflage in a forest of stray thoughts.