Spr/Sum 04

The Language of Drooling Boy


is part mole bone. Once excited about
that fact, he turned instead
to planting Chinese artichokes
illuminating delicacies in Whitman.
When drunk he spoke of chaotic ancestors,
how every other night filled
with a red bridge on fire, deep
in the backwoods of Nunavut.
Ultimately, he invented passages about
addicted, bloated longshoremen
walking on night roofs in Providence,
Rhode Island, thinking all along
it could be the backs of whales in
New York Harbor—late 1973.
At dinner with my father holding up
a plate of steamy Salt Cod,
Drooling Boy whispered twice—
(to a bowl of bitter Wood Sorrel)
I’ll love you . . .


William E. Dudley received his MA in Information Science from the University of Arizona and has poetry published or arriving in Hayden's Ferry, Painted Bride Quarterly, & New York Quarterly. He recently studied with Norman Dubie—was homeless.