JOHN MACKER

Serial Wolf Killer Prays to Our Lady Of Refuge

He paces the perfect incandescent cage
Translucent sharpshooter of the Americas
Thinks Billy The Kid still lives in Silver City
Little things about him are ornery and
Wrong: has wired the Gila to
His own lost soul

October mornings in the dew
Chihuahuan tequila shooters
Chronic jolt to the heart
Five hours a night with
One eye open in missile silo
Slumber. Dormant dreamscape
Volcanoes spew forth his Mexican
Wolves and they procreate in the
Misty mountain shadows
The redoubt of endangered gods.

He uses Our Lady of Refuge and
“outlaw” in the same prayer
Has known the blues of hunger
Has entered nirvana through the back door
A couple of alcoholic kids later,
He blesses his lobo across the cold river
Between the eyes
Calls him brother

Will travel.


Sonnet XXVIII (Chaco Canyon)

October weds the first snows together like a seamstress. Our
Marriage is horses dreaming underground. We rake in the stillness,
All those nesting prairie leaves as dry as static. She greets me
With an autumn-colored mouth, hands flying
about the desert like gypsy moths. Suddenly, this tableau vivant is
Peppered by gunfire. Wedding guests scatter like dirty socks. We
Wipe the snow gingerly off the cake while making rogue love
Noises, as the still day gusts up from the breath of Cortez’
Horse. Arms entwined sipping absinthe, we swear off Iraq, driving in Mexico
City, cheap champagne, walking in rhythm with an anti-Christ & westerns
That begin with the word “I”, as in I may be gaining a wife but losing
A paradox. Out here where the unvarnished clouds freeze the rain in a tableau of
Naked frontier anarchy. We are slightly drunk, we are prayer flags, we are
Joined at the hips to the coiled serpent of Chaco Canyon.


John Macker lives in Northern New Mexico with his wife in an old roadhouse on the Santa Fe Trail.
Books and broadsides of poetry include For The Few, The First Gangster, Burroughs At Santo
Domingo, 2 +2=1,
and black/wing (cd) among others. In 2001, won the James Ryan Morris Memorial
“Tombstone” Award for poetry. Has given public readings with writers such as S.A. Griffin,
Frank Rios, Tony Scibella, Gregory Corso, Andy Clausen, Ed Dorn, Linda Hogan among others.
Has had essays and poems published in journals and magazines throughout the U.S. including,
most recently, Manzanita Quarterly, Sin Fronteras (Writers Without Borders), Pitchfork, Black
Ace Book 7, Mercury Reader, A People’s Ecology: Explorations In Sustainable Living and a large
section from a new manuscript Adventures In The Gun Trade was featured in Mad Blood #2, October
2003. In Colorado, in the early-mid 90’s edited the award-winning literary arts journal, Harp,
which featured interviews and poetry by Robert Bly, Gregory Corso, Charles Bukowski,Tony
Scibella, Diane DiPrima and many others. Has two dogs and when time permits, listens to the wind.






© 2003 Underground Voices