In the Earth, Cicadaboy Has an Out-of-Body-Experience

Sweat on slate like spilt brain

ejaculate, like old sun god’s

been plugging holes with lead

again, old dog dying of heat

stroke again, it’s Thursday, and a series of freak thunderstorms


is set to just tear across the county this afternoon,

into the evening,

the night, hot,


morning: the sun

will never set.


Cicadafather, we have annihilated the world away.

Just hot, froggy silence,

Spasms, like our cat’s

walking on stilts again,

our joints coughing up ash:

restart my heart, charioteer.


The Wet Season Releases Him 

The first night after Cicadaboy emerges, he hits a deer on the way home. The animal kicks and jumps, convulses. Things tend to get sloppy while moving at high speeds. The fur. Its spine. Seeing this all through his rearview mirror, he whispers Christ, this is awkward without moving his mouthparts. He pulls over to the side of the road, which runs parallel to a river, which seems to be moving faster than normal.


In the seconds he spends walking over to the deer, it keeps moving. He looks in both directions to make sure other drivers aren’t going to pulverize his spine, like he ruined this quietly jerking deer. Eyes reeling. It must have come here with other animals. Ribcage inflating. Huh-huh-huh. Back down again. Right eye released from orbit.


Well come on man. It’s not like I ran you down. It starts howling.


Cicadaboy as Fugitive

Someone said one time see the boy.

This boy is sawtoothed, switchcaned,

built from three bundles of broken wicker:

He’d look like a cowboy if he wasn’t so skinny.


See him running,

from dark, shushing fields,

out of the earth, rhizomes, Cicadamen,

those phantoms of his father through the pulpwood:

Smoke and a silverness. The moon. Sometimes, he thinks

about hayflick limits, radiometric dating, then he looks in the mirror


Cicadaboy emerges:

Eye-opener, tear-jerker, foot dragging in the undertow,

now this is glamorous, Rockwell, Brookline,

the manor is burning. All the color fields.

Time to go to sleep.


He emerges again.

Cicadaboy practices transcendental meditation.

Cicadaboy gets the spins.

Cicadaboy vomits

into his mother’s hostas.


Cicadaboy emerges,

and this time, he has a manifesto:

I’ll be the pearldiver. I’ll be running 

among the cats, chariot clipping at my heels. 

I’ll tell loneliness to run away.



Cicadaboy, it is the easiest thing

for me to say I want you happy always

and without interruption. And oh, honey,

it was so dark I didn’t see you.


Some day I’ll love Cicadaboy

Come snowmelt, we’ll call the daffodils

wildflowers again. I’ll dig up the creek

and say Look at all I’ve done for you.

I’ll dig up so many little cicadababies.

Waters rise, and we’ve come to this world wet

with melted snow and calf tongue, newly

filled creeks —