A Scream, A Release

January 23, 2020


I am an omen. Good or
bad, exorcism quiet.

Think of me as the
right moment to

bloom into sickness –

swollen with teeth and
scars, veins full of

bone, glowing
bloody, wet with night.

A wolf.

Sarah Nichols

Little Red Cap

December 24, 2019

At childhood’s end, the houses petered out
Into playing fields, the factory, allotments
Kept, like mistresses, by kneeling married men
The silent railway line, the hermit’s caravan
Till you came at last to the edge of the woods
It was there that I first clapped eyes on the wolf

He stood in a clearing, reading his verse out loud
In his wolfy drawl, a paperback in his hairy paw
Red wine staining his bearded jaw. What big ears
He had! What big eyes he had! What teeth!
In the interval, I made quite sure he spotted me
Sweet sixteen, never been, babe, waif, and bought me a drink

My first. You might ask why. Here’s why. Poetry
The wolf, I knew, would lead me deep into the woods
Away from home, to a dark tangled thorny place
Lit by the eyes of owls. I crawled in his wake
My stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer
Snagged on twig and branch, murder clues. I lost both shoes

But got there, wolf’s lair, better beware. Lesson one that night
Breath of the wolf in my ear, was the love poem
I clung till dawn to his thrashing fur, for
What little girl doesn’t dearly love a wolf?1
Then I slid from between his heavy matted paws
And went in search of a living bird – white dove –

Which flew, straight, from my hands to his open mouth
One bite, dead. How nice, breakfast in bed, he said
Licking his chops. As soon as he slept, I crept to the back
Of the lair, where a whole wall was crimson, gold, aglow with books
Words, words were truly alive on the tongue, in the head
Warm, beating, frantic, winged; music and blood

But then I was young – and it took ten years
In the woods to tell that a mushroom
Stoppers the mouth of a buried corpse, that birds
Are the uttered thought of trees, that a greying wolf
Howls the same old song at the moon, year in, year out
Season after season, same rhyme, same reason. I took an axe

To a willow to see how it wept. I took an axe to a salmon
To see how it leapt. I took an axe to the wolf
As he slept, one chop, scrotum to throat, and saw
The glistening, virgin white of my grandmother’s bones
I filled his old belly with stones. I stitched him up
Out of the forest I come with my flowers, singing, all alone

Carol Ann Duffy

crave fresh blood

October 27, 2019

Impurity springs from the patient sin of your hands. But you could care less. It is obvious in the brightness of your eyes and the faint tremor of those expectant lips. Tenderness bleeds away with the darkness. You crave fresh blood. And a single burning glance sends the wolf away in the night, howling for mercy from the cold, unforgiving moon.

P

Wolf Woman

October 1, 2019

I’m trying to evolve into all wolf all the time. It seems possible if I let go of the idea of my body, if I fall into my dream headfirst, if I accept words as signals more than language, if my love sounds like a howl in the forest – doesn’t it already?

Chelsea Hodson,

Artist Statement, Tonight I’m Someone Else: Essays

You were born in the city, my son,
so you never went into the forest,

not even for a stroll.
So how did you get your terrible fear

of the wolf ?

So I’m asking you what a wolf is,
I’m asking you what a wolf’s like.

All you can say is that he is voracious
and that when he is hungry
the water lapped by the lamb

is troubled all the way up to its source –
which prevents the tender creature from drinking.

Thus it is obvious that you have never seen a wolf,
my little man.

So where in the bosom of the big city
did your fear of the wolf come from ?

Besnik Mustafaj

Trans. Anthony Weir

werewolf girl comes back

March 13, 2019

i am carving this wolf from my body
but he is not leaving
i am tearing open my limbs
leaving gaps large enough for him to fit through
but he is not leaving
why return to the cold
when you are still hungry
why leave a carcass
when there is still something to be devoured?

sarah kate

Writing in the Dark

February 12, 2019

Fear’s chandelier shakes the secluded house, tv sputters with its laugh track.
Our heroine must run from the house, its smoke-filled mirrors.
It is the formula as are her lovely yellow curls.
Why must she run out on the cliffs in pounding rain into the arms of the hero?
Hey, Goldie, don’t flee to the sea, go into the woods.
Watch how the hills glisten before they darken to silhouette.
Now wait for the appearance of the wolf.
You should be prepared for his bony face.
There’s a mask in your pocket, there always is.
Now you be the wolf.

Judith Taylor

a vast melancholy

December 30, 2018

That long-drawn, wavering howl has, for all its fearful resonance, some inherent sadness in it, as if the beasts would love to be less beastly if only they knew how and never cease to mourn their own condition. There is a vast melancholy in the canticles of the wolves, melancholy infinite as the forest, endless as these long nights of winter and yet that ghastly sadness, that mourning for their own, irremediable appetites, can never move the heart for not one phrase in it hints at the possibility of redemption; grace could not come to the wolf from its own despair, only through some external mediator, so that, sometimes, the beast will look as if he half welcomes the knife that dispatches him.

Angela Carter
The Company of Wolves

The wolf runs

December 1, 2018

The wolf runs.
It runs three legged, like all damaged creatures, across the snow.
She thinks: this is true.
She thinks: this is a life.
She thinks: I do not want to die, but my life will always be like this — wounded and animal, lurching against white.

Lidia Yuknavitch
The Small Backs of Children

There is a girl inside

October 14, 2018

There is a girl inside.
She is randy as a wolf.
She will not walk away and leave these bones
to an old woman.
She is a green tree in a forest of kindling.
She is a green girl in a used poet.
She has waited patient as a nun
for the second coming,
when she can break through gray hairs
into blossom
and her lovers will harvest
honey and thyme
and the woods will be wild
with the damn wonder of it.

Lucille Clifton