Thursday, September 30, 2010




  Boy Meets Girl
Boy meets girl.
Boy asks girl for a date.
Boy    seduces girl.
Boy and girl participate in
undone-undie,
under the cover,    
   unadulterated,
      unprotected    sex.
Boy oh boy.
Boy and girl have sex again.   
And again.
Repeat.     Repeat.    Repeat.
Boy and girl are mighty damn frisky,
   if you get my    meaning.

Boy somehow manages to impregnate girl.
Boy does the right thing.
Boy pauses and thinks to himself,
“Who the hell come up with that phrase
‘Does the right thing’?”
Boy figures, “Alright,   fine.
Such is my lot in life, and
there’s not a damn thing I can do about it,
um… ‘cept ponder whether
   the person who coined
“Such is my lot in life” is the
same pecker-head who came up with
the guilt inducing sentence of
   “Do the right thing.”

Okay, now hold on!
This whole morality play of words
is obviously from a
male’s pointy head of view.
That’s not romance.
Let’s let a woman tell the story.

Um… Girl meets boy at bowling alley.
Girl finds boy cute in a
whimpering puppy what needs
a bit of cuddle    sort of way.

Hey!    I ain’t tellin’ the story.    
She is.     She found him cute.     
Go figure.

They spoon.
They swoon.
They croon.
They serenade beneath the moon.
They    swap    some     spit.

He asks if he might be able
to see her the following night.
Giddy with anticipation,
she says “Oh, yes.”
And there that following night
he picks her up and right off the bat
asks if it’s okay to go back to his place.
Rewind.        Re-roll.
Giddy with anticipation,    “Oh, yes.”

Now wait a second.
In chapter three, page sixty-two,
sub-paragraph four of
the woman’s field manual on
sexual relations with a male homo sapiens,
doesn’t it openly state that you are
never suppose to go to the fella’s pad
   on the very first date?
I guess her copy had a few pages ripped out.

Girl meets boy.
Girl ends up on boys couch.
Someone’s tongue ends up
in someone else’s mouth.
Don’t know whose.
Hey. She’s telling this story.
Not me.

He interrupts their   moment of passion
and excuses himself to the kitchen.
From where she’s sitting on the couch
she can see him digging around
   in the refrigerator.
Shortly, he closes the door
and vanishes down a hallway
to pass into view through an adjacent door
before disappearing into his bathroom.

And he’s in there a long time.
A    very long time.
She studies the ceiling;
the wallpaper;    the curtains;
the watermarks on the coffee table.

Presently the door opens
and he strolls across the carpet
to plop down beside her and
ease into her embrace
as if he’d never left.
And there again,
just as their passion reaches its crescendo,
he stands, pardons himself
and heads for the kitchen.
There again, his head in the fridge.
There again, the walk down the hall.
There again the open, close and click
   of the bathroom’s latch.

To her utter amazement,
she once more finds herself
alone on the couch
rearranging her disheveled clothes.
And this time,
he is locked away in the toilet
for a good twenty minutes or more.

She’s at the point of slumping down
into the cushions for a nap
when she hears the door unlatch again.
Stepping from the toilet,
his eyes meet hers and she can instantly tell
there’s something very different.
Indeed, that which is there,
spreads from pupils,
outward to eye sockets and further,
   to overwhelm his entire face.
In quick transition, a look of shock;
a look of fright;   a look of      anger.

And there from those lips
which had just been pressed against hers
come the following words: “Who are you?!
How the hell did you get into my house?!”

To this she starts to giggle and mutter a quizzical,
“er… What?” to his somewhat inappropriate joke,
when he overrides her with “Who the hell are you?!
How the fuck did you get in here?!”
And here she comes to realize
that there’s nothing funny
about his current ill-romantic demeanor.
Again she tries to utter a response of “What?”
but here is voice gets shrill and ever more frantic.
“I’m calling the police!
You better get the hell outta here, ‘cause…”
And here she suddenly hears
her own voice overriding his.
“What’s going on here?
Why are you acting like this?
I’m your date, god damn it!
Don’t you remember you and I
just now sitting on this couch?!”

It’s at this point she recalls his face
   altering yet again.
Its mutating from extreme anger
   to that of utmost pain.
And he    begins to sob.
Not just cry, but   sob.
He wanders over to the couch,
sits down, buries his head in hands
   and truly breaks down.
And yo! If there’s anything
that pushes a woman’s buttons
it’s when the man she finds worthy of sex
turns into the man she wants to kick in the groin,
but then quickly transitions
to the man she wants to
hold to her naked breast and nurse.

A maelstrom of manic emotion.
A macabre and malignant mix
of malnourished masculinity.
A magmatic magnum of mother’s milk,
primed for manly mammary mastication.
Madness.   Madness.   Madness.

I think it was right around
this point in the story
when those of us on the
outside of the asylum’s gates
decided to phone in an observation.
“So… um…
You got the fuck outta there, right?”

And here a serene smile forms upon her face.
“No.    Actually,
we’ve got another date this coming Friday.”

Ah…
The mysteries of amour.

Boy meets girl.
Girl meets boy.
Someone’s forehead meets
   a meat-cleaver.
Not saying who.    ‘Cause
    you know…
Romance is always best when unpredictable.

Ah heck!
Who’s foolin’ who?

Doesn’t the boy
always
get the girl
in the end?

©2010 Jack Hubbell



  Combustion
That cars explode
whilst suspended mid-air
is an absolute given fact.
Drive one through a barrier
and over a cliff   and
you just know it is going to be
enveloped in flames
before it hits the ground there below.

How do I know this?
Well hell… I’ve
seen it in the movies.
All I know is that if I launch my car
off a 500 foot drop, I’m
gonna open that door
and step out into the sky
‘cause I   
sure don’t want to get burned.  No.
Best wait ‘til everything reaches the ground
before I climb back in for
a nice   clean    painless mortality.

You know, I find myself trying to think
of all the cars I’ve ever been in that
spontaneously burst into a ball of flames,
   and I can’t even think of one.
Don’t remember a non-spontaneous combustion either.
It may come down to my always having managed
   to buy a good quality blast-free car.
Either that or I’ve lucked out and
the industrial mechanic for
every purchase I’ve made
forgot to install the airborne detonator.
Then again,
(and this is important)
I don’t know that I’ve ever managed to get
all four wheels off the ground at once.

I suppose it’s extra motivation
to slow down around speed bumps.
Might explain why my wife always screams
when I approach one at high speed.
I may be using a strained logic here
but I figure that all those exploding cars
that you see in the movies
were obviously sitting in
close proximity to a speed bump.
Those CGI guys just use some special affect to
mask out that bump at a later date.
I’m thinking that in an effort to save money on
pyrotechnics in all those Schwarzenegger films,
they probably shot them in
ever so anal residential areas.
ka-‘Burbs.   ka-Bumps.   ka-Bounce.   ka-Boom.

I was once in my car
traveling down the A1-M motorway in England
towards the sprawling city of Milton Keynes.
My destination was a cinema multiplex
where they were showing a
new action flick with Arnold in it.
It was just at dusk and
I was heading into a sunset.
What was curious was that I was driving South.
So    adding up sunsets—
the one in front of me and
the one off my shoulder to the right—
I came to the eerie equation of one sunset too many.
A mile further on and I noticed that
my Southern-most sunset was producing
a vast plume of inky black smoke.
This was either a new solar phenomenon
or confirmation that my rumored lack
of deductive reasoning was indeed sadly true.

At this point on the motorway,
the Southbound lanes were three across
and there just ahead of me,
a multitude of glowing brake-lights
competed with the glow of my polar solar fate.
A half-mile further on and
the chaos of competing red
split into two separate columns
as all the cars diverged
into the far left or right lanes.

There in the center lane
and facing us,    stood a man.
A man silhouetted by a blazing sun
which threatened to engulf us all.
This man…
This man had driven his car
   into the Sun.
Well no.
That’s not necessarily true.
His car was the sun.
No. Again, I’m misleading you.
This man’s car had burst into flames
there in the absolute center of the motorway,
and he, having escaped the inferno,
had wandered a hundred yards
up the middle of the
three lane expanse of road
to face the oncoming traffic
as it veered left and right in a
frantic effort to avoid him.

And there as I drove by
in what appeared to be
a certain cinematic slow motion,
I noticed the look in his eyes.
He was not looking at us. No.
He was in the midst of  trauma;
of horror; of visual overload;
of that proverbial thousand yard stare.

Zero to sixty.    Sixty to zero.
Step out before you hit the ground…
   and survive.
The cerebral shred
of a fuel injected head.
And cars continue to swerve.
And tires continue to screech.
And this is all the action you could ever hope for.
But we have not a second to spare.
No time to pause in mutual PTSD consolation.
Why?
‘Cause we’ve got a date with Swarzenegger.

Oh, the brutal excitement!
The anticipation of all that pending violence!      
The destruction. The decimation.
The deto…nation.
We get to see Arnold kick some doors down.
Snap some bones.    Fracture some teeth.
We get to see him pump high-caliber lead
into the chest of a wide-eyed man who
really really really needs to die.
Hell.     If we’re lucky,
we might even get to see some
   cars blow up.

©2010 Jack Hubbell





  Nantucket Number Nine
It had been a day of killing.
A day of     death.
A day of small lead masses
passing through flesh.
Projectiles careening off shattered bone
to penetrate piped organs
of non-musical note.
High velocity enforced deceleration
by way of visceral viscous   entropy.

And as he loads their lifeless bodies
into the bed of his waiting truck,
he vaguely notices how their
core temperatures match that which
radiates from the blued metal
of his spent shotgun.
It is only a moment
but as in entropy itself,
that too soon wanes.

And there in his gunmetal eyes
the reflection of a lead-shot sky
shifts from grey to black.
And soon he exists as solo entity,
   for here in the dark
there is nothing beyond himself.
Indeed, nothing exists which
cannot be seen at the end of a barrel.
His aim is to define
and there in the steel silhouette
   of his lead bead sight,
      they are game.
And what does the game define
if not him    in return?

Man holds dominion over the animal kingdom.
He sort of liked the sound of that.
Made him feel…  special.
Kind of like he was the chosen one.
King Dumb and his holy scepter
give unto that of wing, hoof and claw
   the gift   of light.
Successive bursts of ill lumination
via a spasm orgasm of twelve-gauge blasts.
Yes, well… here in the dark,
everything is black,
and what is your point of aim
if not the whole of blackness itself?

And here his eyes have grown dim
   for his vision is that of man,
and man has held court for far too long
   beside the luminous flame
there at the mouth of his cave.
From that flicker cast
across bison and elk, stampeding
there on his soot-stained ceiling,
to that which now emanates
from the mystic rectangle which
glows upon far distant wall.

Does man fear the dark?
Does he fear all those
undefined creatures
creeping forward from their
feral realm of sunless sanctuary?
Why… He is man, and
what is man if not   incandescent!
They with their puny brains…
What is man if not electric?
What is man if not cathode, anode
and that spark which arcs in between?

And he fills the need to flow; to stream.
To leave his mark upon the Earth.
Brass teeth part before his groin
and passing through, he
emerges from dark into dark in
    an arc of fluid release.
And there in that arc, he is a  sensation.
A sensation of    self. 
A brutal self-realization of what he
as man has unleashed upon this Earth.

And he drops to his knees in a
momentary genuflection to that
which he cannot    comprehend.
And he collapses to ground and
curls into a fetal position while
urine continues to spread from his loins.
There… There in the outer dark,
small irises open wide as
creatures   edge forth and  
bear witness to the fact that
man   does indeed    know pain.
Pain.
God made Man and Man made   barbed wire.
And Man said to himself,
“You know, that was pretty good,
but I think I can do   better.”

Man is subject to himself
   and all that he creates.

Enveloped    within darkness,
my father once mistakenly pissed
across    an electric fence.

Oh, I would like to think
it was a    somewhat appropriate
   religious    experience.    

©2010 Jack Hubbell

~~~Tapestry
That a honed edge of steel
might pass between the weave
of weft and warp is
no doubt a significant event.
That its extraction might leave a
residual smear of blood that
gathers upon fabric and
stains the surrounding fiber
is nothing if not equally traumatic.

And here I must ask, does it
really matter that poor Polonius
lies wide-eyed and dying in the dark
there on the far side of some
perverse perforation?
In the scheme of centuries,
does his over-dramatic death
truly resonate as lore worthy of
thespian regurgitation via
iambic pentameter?

“Oh, there is Uncle Claudius.
He is hiding behind the curtain.
Why is he hiding behind the curtain?
Shall I stab him?
What fun it would be
to stab him through the curtain.”

Who wrote that crap?
Wouldest thou shake-a-speared Polonius
and maketh him rise anon?
Poor poor sanguinary Polonius.
Thine spittle laden exhalation
growith most putrid and foul
with each dying breath.
Woe and alas but this meddlesome mind
doth ebb and give exit with a
gruesome grimace.
I mean really!
Who gives a rat’s bung-hole about palooka Polonius
or some hammy Hamlet’s bloodlet-o-rama?
Yorick this. Yorick that.
Your rectum alas o’ sin sensitive one.

There are those who would say that
something is rotten
in the state of Denmark.
Yes, well… it is Scandinavia.
Just look at the quality of food they eat there.
No real wonder at the fact that
all their carpets are soaked with vomit.
Oh, I hate to be critical, but in truth
the intrinsic décor of Danish dwellings
is in a very sad state of affairs.
Not a throw pillow in sight and I mean,
is it just me or does not
every other hanging tapestry
have some huge gaping gouge in it?

Please.
You think Martha Stewart runs around
hacking up the draperies?
No. Of coarse not.
Ya don’t clip yer toenails at the coffee table
and you don’t randomly stab
ornate wall hangings in search
of hidden adversaries.
Indeed, you would think that
every single Dane was in need of a
big ol’ Freudian timeout
with his nose jammed in the corner.

And there just now,
most rancid, most pungent, most
putrescent Polonius has died.
His visceral nature oozing forth to
spread across stone and
inch its way toward the ruin of
relic both radiant and regal.

Is Hamlet going to snap out of his
rapacious rapier rapture long enough
to move the freakin’ rug?
Just what is it with all this rabid disregard
of décor decorum?
Don’t they have the Antiques Roadshow in
rotten ol’ Denmark?
I mean, that shit’s gonna be worth a
wad o’ money some day.

Want to know why the Danish Kroner is
currently a tits-up croakin’?
Damaged goods. That’s why.
There’s not a single quality tapestry that some
doomed idiot didn’t choose to hide behind.
Caught screwing the neighbor’s wife
when her brutish husband
walks through the front door?
Well for the love of woven weft and warp,
don’t hide behind the damn wall hanging.
Whether you’re hiding there or not,
that is the first place
he’s gonna repeatedly skewer
with his stainless-steel stiletto.

I mean sheez!
If Hamlet only had the sensibility
of a certain Norman Bates,
you might still have a nation of
homicidal maniacs,
but the upside would be that
bloody shower curtains are
easily ripped down
and tossed into a dumpster.

Indeed, shower curtains,
as in Danish royalty,
are pretty much dime a dozen, but
a fine quality woven tapestry…?
Ah, now that…

Well what is that if
not to die for?

©2010 Jack Hubbell




~~~Beneath My Soul
That soldiers might die
alongside that of ants
really did not mean too much.
Death was death.
There was no privileged hierarchy.
Well, okay…
I suppose that since the ants
were actually alive to start with,
they should have counted
for a little something extra.
Oh, not that the soldiers were expendable.
No. I imagine I had spent a
good weeks allowance on them.
Yes, it’s true that each little action figure
had its own intrinsic value,
but since they were all made out of plastic
and came a couple hundred to a packet,
I really didn’t care when I
lost a handful now and then.
Indeed, like the beaches of Normandy
or the forests of Ardennes,
my back yard was literally sown with
the lawn-mown remnants of
little plastic army men.

I suppose you are wondering how
so many soldiers came to be lost
in these battles I waged.
Well to be honest,
more than fifty percent of those
which went missing were
due to the use of high explosives.
The remainder can likely be attributed
to my indifference.
I mean hell.
Soldiers were pretty darn cheap.
You just knew there was
a machine out there somewhere
perpetually reproducing them.
It’s almost as if the guy with
his finger on the plastic extrusion button
figured there was going to be some inherent loss,
so he just duct taped the switch
and left the war machine to
run at full tilt.
Fodder for the Fatherland.

The American soldier was almost always green.
Olive green.
This way you knew who the good guys were,
but in reality, they died just as easily as
any other hunk of colored plastic.
The bad guys were generally yellow to brown
or some shade in between.
I’d like to think that this choice of color
was some random selection of ink that
an early technician arbitrarily threw into the vat,
but another part of me understands that
yellow plastic equates to
something else yellow that
we were supposed to be hating at that time.
I can even remember getting
a couple of bags of plastic soldiers
where all the bad guys were red,
and I can only assume
that this was an attempt to
program and indoctrinate
us fine young patriots as to the
need to gun down and eradicate
the evil scourge of the red Chinese
and their heathen Soviet brethren.
Brain wash in full spin cycle?
Reverse Manchurian candidates?
Die! Die! Die! You commie bastards!

Yes, well…
Unfortunately, in my full capacity as
backyard supreme being,
there was a minor programming disconnect,
‘cause I mowed everyone down equally.
For what was I if not an
equal opportunity destroyer?

High explosives?
Well to a mere ant, a
fire-cracker is a pretty big bang.
Oh, and a thumb amputating M80?
It’s da ‘F’ Bomb thermo nuclear
mushroom o’ doom boom boom.
But now don’t blame me.
Blame it on the South Pacific.
Blame it on the Japanese.
Blame it on Iwo Jima.
Blame it on John Wayne.
Blame it on the fact that anthills
look a lot like sandy beaches.

And I imagine those ants
looking up to this mighty being
looming there in the sky above
and saying,
“Why are you doing this?
Why have you chosen we must die?”

Ah…
“Now I am become death,
the destroyer of worlds.”
Now I am become Vishnu.
Now Krishna.
Now Shiva.
Now J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Now one small boy
kneeling over an ant-mound
with a glowing punk in his hand.

I am not proud.
I have regrets.
But now listen: This was war.
And in war there’s this thing called
“collateral damage”.
Civilians die.
Ants die.
But I mean really…
How can you expect the minute mind
of a mere insect to comprehend the
intricate cognitive gyrations of a higher life form?
Perhaps you sympathizers out there
somehow attribute a group-mind of
synapse solidarity to these lowly ants.
Perhaps you envision them
looking up in mental-mass to see
nothing but the malicious intent
of a cruel heartless child.
And perhaps you imagine the ants themselves
holding cruel dominion over
all those tiny mindless microbes
existing beneath them.
Indeed, there’s a conceivable chance
that this entire spinning globe is
under the thumb of some vast
cruel and indifferent entity of whose actions
we will never be able to comprehend.

But consider this:
That boy has grown to the
man who stands before you now.
He has matured.
He has learned regret.
Why just the other day as he was
walking down the sidewalk,
he observed an ant crossing the void
into the path of this man’s next footfall.
And though it required a conscious effort
to alter a sole’s trajectory
by a mere few inches,
this he did.

Yes. No matter our original inclination,
it would appear we have some
innate capability for compassion.

One might even say there’s hope.

©2010 Jack Hubbell
~~~All’s Hollow Days
At the time it never occurred to her
that she might have been on holiday.
Oh, but this is not to say
that she wasn’t paying attention, for
with events such as these,
there are somewhat obvious indicators.
For one, calendar dates of such significance
always appear in red.
Red relative to an ulterior reality
forever rendered black and bleak.
Indeed, what was black if not life revealed
as a continuous loop of normality?
A perpetual scroll of numbered squares
which there exist both before and long after red.
But if perchance your mind had wandered
whilst black days blurred into a
certain grey nothingness,
there were always other ways of telling.

For instance, the awaited day might arrive
and the décor of your four-walled confine
would come to be adorned with
someone else’s ornamentation.
Doomed plants invade the home.
Suspect food of dubious origin
appears there upon your plate.
Ribbon wrapped boxes are gifted via relationships
which may or may not have warranted any
act of kindness whatsoever.
It was a phenomena which forever puzzled her,
but since the dividends were somewhat beneficial,
she never bothered to question them.

There were nights of visual violence
in which everything about her
exploded in a significant flash of light.
Again and again.
Shimmering chrysanthemums
which abruptly transformed
into massive black spiders that
hovered there in her waning sky
of ever dramatic dénouement.
She always preferred the dread haze
of a lingering spider to
any transient joy of spent illumination.

Then there were holidays in which
macabre costumes were donned.
Days where masked relationships
are further obscured via some
false façade which hangs before your
current visage du jour.

Such were these red-letter days.
Day after day after give and take
and take and take.
And soon holidays dissolve and meld
into hollow days.
All hollow days.
One after one into one.
Every day a mono-manic-indulgence.
Every day a celebration of selfishness.
Her friends. Her family.
Her mother and father.
They were her cake and she
would consume them all.

Hers became a life of
perpetual holiday a la cart.
Red: a gratuitous gala of she.
Red: a festival of self-infatuation.
Red: a commemoration of her
own rapt adoration.

That is, right up until the day
her parents told her to go.
Right up until the eventful moment
that all her days returned
to their original shade of black.
Right up until that day
she heard the door’s latch
snap home behind her back.

That black day her forever holiday
came to pass, and an
inconvenient existence which we
have come to know as “life”
met her there at the edge of the curb.

©2010 Jack Hubbell

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Strung Souls
Unless you view this
ill defined world as others do,
with all they perceive it to offer…
Everything deemed worthy to submit
before your discerning eye might
well be dismissed as nothing more
than shadows cast across
a contrived backdrop.

There upon that featureless stage,
curtains perpetually rise and fall
and yet nothing of significance
ever crosses its boundaries.
That is, unless someone lifts a hand.
Unless an array of gnarled ligature and bone
falls beneath another’s thumb.

That some sad marionette
might stagger forth
under the influence of a higher power,
and there
with a buckling of joints,
drop to its knees in an
abject act of subjugation.
He with head bowed in forced capitulation,
while you in your velveteen chair
swoon in unison with the dark silhouette
of all those pathetic voyeurs
in some staggered array
falling away before you.
All while up beyond those Faustian footlights,
a frail figure shudders and sways
beneath the veiled yoke of
another’s tethered dominion.

There in the theatre dark,
you feel the leash of your
mind start to fray
as there upon stage some
automaton of angst
turns its splintered grimace
to you in the audience,
and there reflects the foul façade
of your own enameled face.
But this act of communion
abruptly unspools,
for there below a dour draped sky
of velour verisimilitude,
the mute marionette collapses to floor
in prostrate compliance to the
spastic machinations
of some unseen obscene
omnipotent.

And though those assorted strands
momentarily sag and sway,
you assume their taunts remain true.
That the imperceptible thread which
drops to that puppet’s
outstretched hand
is taut and free of entanglement.
That the one who tied the assorted knots
was free from divine distraction when
he was shown the ropes.
And while you persist in dwelling
upon the greatest of forever unknowns,
there upon stage that crumpled marionette
attempts to rise of its own free will.
Ah, but the gravity of its sutured situation
consists of such weight
that it simply can not prevail.

And here in your roll as rapt audience
you come to conclude that this…
All of this.
This soul in anguished torment.
That this is not entertainment.
That you as a distinctly empowered being
will not partake of another’s
dire derision.

And so you endeavor to rise.
To simply turn your riotous head
towards the waiting exit.
Ah, but there in that hollowed dome of bone,
a cinder strewn mind vainly goes in search
of some remnant of spiritual spark,
and fails quite miserably.
For what are you if not
suspended
mid mortal finality?

Was there ever truly such a thing
as an existence that came
without strings attached?

© 09 Jack Hubbell

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Consuming Others
That I might live, others must die.
It’s a harsh reality but
I suppose I’m okay with it.
In the realm of morality, there’s a hierarchy of them
which are decreed spiritually insignificant
and strangely all those others deemed
significantly lacking in requisite spirituality.
Not exactly sure where I fall in that spectrum,
but between me and them what be
designated as ‘others’,
I figure I got the inside track
on where my loyalties lie.

I suppose I should define
just who gets the categorical labeling of ‘others’
but where would be the fun in that?
This all being a game and
everything involved being
some form of pretension, we are
supposed to pretend we are starving.
And starving being a precursor to death,
it’s relatively easy to stay focused.
And in part of that whole pretend scenario,
it really helps with the ‘poetic license’
that I haven’t eaten in almost a day.

Of course I am not a lone soloist
in this whole starvation experience.
Of those contestants in my
makeshift Donner Pass party,
there are seven men and one female.
Of the fact there’s a woman in our midst
is not supposed to matter.
We are a military presence and thus
androgynous.
Don’t ask and don’t tell us of your all too
emotive orientation.
This ain’t about procreation.
Ain’t about gender genitalia.
Is about life sustaining satiation.
Is about voraciously devouring others.

Okay, a bit of clarification may be in order.
My use of the word ‘others’
might just be a bit broader than yours.
You see, there’s the other seven living entities
in my immediate group
(all by law—un-edible)
and then everything else.
Half of which by taste are also un-edible.

That one girl in our group?
She has openly expressed that
she is a vegetarian.
I figure that for her this fact has cut the
remaining group of what’s edible
roughly in half.
On the previous night, we had to
slaughter by hand
a pair of rabbits and
butcher them.
Something of which
did not sit well with her. She…
She used to raise them as pets.
How would she as herbivore
last in such an unforgiving wild?

So there we stand at a stream,
refilling our canteens with
bacterial and protozoan
‘others’ laden water,
and carnivore that I am,
I look down to spy a medium sized snake
enter the liquid flow
and make for the far bank.
There mid coarse,
I easily reach down to grasp it by the neck
and lift it up to display before
my surrounding pack of fellow hunter-gatherers.

And here I am expecting adulation,
and indeed from the majority of my
Cro-Magnon brethren I receive it, but…
But not from her.
From across the stream, she
surges forward and there a few feet away,
raises her hands into clinched fists
and begins to rain them down
upon my upper chest and shoulders.
“Put it down! Put it down! Put it down!”
she screams again and again.
Tears well in her eyes
and her soft face contorts
in the most extreme way.

Oh, I’ve been slapped by a girl but
this is the first time I’ve ever been beaten.
Ah yes. Well… The fists?
The fists meant very little.
No. It was her eyes.
Their intensity.
Their passion.
The willingness to starve
so that some lesser entity
deemed insignificant by
we the humanoid masses
might continue to live another day.
And here her verbal assault alters.
“You got the rabbits! Put it down! Put the snake down!”
Again a maniacal mantra.
All in syncopation to the percussive rhythm
beaten into my chest.

And I let the snake go.
Let it drops to the water where it
shoots away and down the stream
before any of the other men can grab it.
And here now my onslaught of abuse
changes from female to male.
What a loser!
What a pathetic example of manhood!
And they turn away in disgust for
what have I done
but failed one of the ultimate tests of virility?

Am I weak?
Well isn’t that obvious?
I have let down my fellow man.
Flunked ‘Male Bonding 101’.
But hey! Let’s face it.
This is less about men and
more about me embracing my feminine side.
For men I will always put up the
pretence of accommodation,
but here’s the truth:
I love women.

To starve myself;
to waste away and whither.
I would die for you.
There at your stream,
I would release my grasp.
Turn loose my snake and
ease it back into the flowing wet
of which I just withdrew it.

I would do this for you.
I would.
All you have to do is ask.

©09 Jack Hubbell