Tim Kahl

The Battle of Domicile Home, home. We must accept the present or defend the roof.There is trust in the apparent window and the winner-in-us,the tears that anoint the hinges of the door. We are the inthat thinks the future blooms in utero. The out is buta political change, the attention left to feel along a brokendirection. Set sail for the Western instinct tendingthe homestead, the lost chemistry of domestic cheer wherea command is issued to the simplest stool — the three legsare off in a race to rescue absolute reason, the frozen part of itstill stuck in the stucco made firm by a verb, pressing so it candrill. Do this. Do that, to keep up the illustrious edifice,the arterial flow of electric whisper that urges one, two, three— jump. And we dangle from the rudiments. And wedance etcetera blinded by dread and undocumented dreamleaning into four o' clock, five o' clock, six o' clock — blink.The worst is over. The best is a bold hypothesis of how to proceed.Home, home. Now again we stay home to think on the jiggety-jig.

Iditarod The livid toddlers observe the rule of threes:they are surrounded by moths and goddessesand ocean custodians who have just arrivedfrom Aesop's midnight fables. All the animals thereare buried with thorns and seek New Delhi light.They are regulated by a clandestine gene.They are tabula rasa and indentured servantsof an absent nature. They are the hideoussymbionts working in a new age that willnot endorse their haphazard hosts.As luck and only luck would have it, theyhave formed their habits through performance,derived from the taxidermist's talent to extracthypervenom, randomgas and kitschmetabolites. Animal, animal, animal, stopwearing our clothes cry the toddlersdissatisfied with their high tech food options.The Jell-o spoon should not turn red from stirring,they warn. Oh, we let them conform —content in their dreams of messaging each otherin threesomes. You, me and another,all lashed together and pulling a sleighthrough the Iditarod. Mush, mush, mushsomeone yelled, and we threw ourselves intoour work, knowing only unhappy dogs won't race. Tim Kahl [http://www.timkahl.com] is the author of Possessing Yourself (CW Books 2009) and The Century of Travel (CW Books, 2012). His work has been published in Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, Notre Dame Review, The Journal, Parthenon West Review, and many other journals in the U.S. He appears as Victor Schnickelfritz at the poetry and poetics blog The Great American Pinup (http://greatamericanpinup.wordpress.com/) and the poetry video blog Linebreak Studios [http://linebreakstudios.blogspot.com/]. He is also editor of Bald Trickster Press and Clade Song [http://www.cladesong.com]. He is the vice president and events coordinator of The Sacramento Poetry Center.