My little horse must think it queer.
But who cares what he thinks?
Listening to an animal might get me killed
look what happened to Walter.
And so I go on.
Not just with life in general
but with this particular day.
And I allow things to happen,
like the snow to come down,
like Tom Waits' Alice to create
a tiny stainless drain somewhere
in my core this morning.
And I dig out and put on
a very old pair of tennis shorts
that look like a dinner napkin.
And I step out into the yard
and kneel, and pet the studded radial,
like running a hand across an open field
of steel babies' teeth.
And I think about flogging him.
I think about going back out there to find him.
And I think about Klaus Kinski.
What would Klaus Kinski do? I think
about how in theory the hammer
is never to hit the anvil.
I think about how a butterfly, if
permitted, will crawl neurotically
all over a soldier's face for half an hour.
The snow sifts down like so many blankets.
As I move out across the pasture
I think about this . . . and Kinski. And anvils.
I can't say I'm surprised to find
my little horse breathing a dent for himself
in the snow. Nor that the dent looks strangely
like a baby Jesus. A baby Jesus on his back,
sinking into the snow.
As I speed north up highway I91, passing Zortman on toward Malta, I
look out and see a lone donkey on the open plain. Mostly snow and pale
yellow tufts of grass poking up through snow. Now I see him, the 2nd
donkey, hundreds of yards off , coming along with his head down, ripping
tufts of yellow grass I'm guessing as he staggers about. I quickly rearrange
it all in my mind: I see them as two gay male Montana donkeys who
were previously alone before meeting up one day on the open plain. It
reminds me of a rancher one time. Something in the way this rancher's
mustache - the corners of his black mustache - how they curved down,
have time for any of this. I reach up and trace with my finger the word
special in the foggy part of the windshield above the dash.