Jack O'Lanterns lit, I pull on my moose head,
ready for work. Unlike the little Batman's who say,
No, I'm not Batman, this is my costume,
I am Moose. Half-man, Half-Moose,
and not in the best of humor.
I will take you into the bathroom, pull your teeth
and clean that blood off your face.

It gets worse, kids. I know about the Days of the Dead,
and this isn't it. This isn't in the same league,
and those of you who think it is
are trying to put out fire in a paper bag
full of dog poop. When you ring the bell,
you'll meet me when the door opens. Be ready.
In Canada more people die from moose than bear.

I'm sorry about this. I am. Even as you walk
up my steps I'm thinking about where we're at,
where I'm not, celebrating Día de los Muertos,
San Miguel de Allende, where bees swarm
candy acting out the drama of our lives. Abuelita
y Abuelito in bones a long time gone, dressed
in clothes for mass. My wife's there now, on her way

to the cemetery and fireworks. After ancestors
eat, she'll sit with a bowl of posole and tacos
filling tortillas hecha por mano en la cocina.
There will be mariachis, stories, tequilla--
and yes, people making love in the dark.
Even the Church is quiet as is proper
with newcomers. This night goes way back,

belongs to first peoples and singers. Poets
know their roles for a change. So come on up, kids.
You know the moose has more than one stomach?
Four. We regurgitate and chew.
We have cloven hooves, and if you've been listening,
your Sunday School teacher thinks we're devils.
No comment. Make up your own mind.

We run, we swim. Male's a bull. Female's a cow.
A herd is called a gang run by one female.
Do you know Spiderman? I haven't always been a moose.
Did I say the World Series is on? Tonight I'm done practicing.
Why are you giggling? Why mute?
Why did you ring my doorbell? Trick or treat?
Do better. Moose is horned and plays for keeps.

Jim Bodeen
31 October 2010


Like my dog lapping
water from the toilet bowl--
off-balanced fan blades.

Jim Bodeen
30 October 2010


"...moving the measured road..."
--Gary Snyder, A Berry Feast

Never read out loud in back yard
like I read Howl when Ginsburg died,
aim to redress that now--
harvest grapes, read poem with birds,
the best minds/where berries grow...

Talk to collared man of mountain spirits--
how to connect, how all things counter,
out west with pickup trucks,
Pacific Rim too much, too fast,--
Waylaid, every turn turns me around--

car salesman outside God Only Knows
talks Jesus, 28 years sober, you go man,
listen to them kids inside, show them
how bullshit cuts all ways--
Where's my damn suit? I say

naked in locker room. Can't swim now,
naked and alone with my old dog.
Dog walks house, sleeps where Karen's not.
Karen sends images of bees in candy swarm.
Day of the Dead in San Miguel,

Ancestors pile out of stars hungry--
hambre para noticias, sí, pero vamos a comer,
and photos delight, but empty house
creates too, hold off loneliness
with the poem. At Halloween Party

4-year olds look at Grandpa
in Moose Head, paint pumpkins. Katie says,
Sit with me, Grandpa--bawl
right through tundra mask.
Pick up rest of grandkids,

wait for answers, look in rear mirror
Grandson says, I'm ignoring you.
Ignoring me, I say, pulling over car--
You going to stop in the middle of the road? he asks.
Día de los Muertos bring the universe--

Outside, firetruck and men with hoses.
Tree on fire in neighbor's yard.
Power line in tree. Close stuff,
not fire of life but wild burn
burning vortex in one look.

Jim Bodeen
30 October 2010


Carry two buckets
of water to young Sweetgums
Eat oatmeal cookies
Watch water find way to roots
Raw sugar reach for coffee

Fall asleep in chair
Poems in notebook unfinished
Harvested grapes wait
Mash and cook before Samhain
Dark jelly from an old art

Swim in city pool
Listen to elder women
water walk one lane
Counting laps instead of time
Water draws me close to home

One fear-making call
from political hate phones
might persuade iambs
to unruly enjambments,
unplugged scholarship

Jim Bodeen
28 October 2010


  1. received a rossi lie-laced rant via the phone perhaps in line with the time your poem came to be. i yelled fy to the phone so loud the neighbors shook. yelling at a recording. god. unplug for sure. kjm