Karla Linn Merrifield

JoJo the Poet Conjures Her Mojo

Under Amazon moons, many silver river moons,
she summons the assonance of anacondas, en-
jambments of boas to put a squeeze on lines.
She commands rhythms of army ants and piranhas
and curare-dart syncopations. Pffft. Pffft. Pffft.

Come, Death, to Mother Nature’s myriad fools
who don’t believe in Her shamanic magic,
who deny the florid drumbeat of rainforest!
Howling-monkey priestess stirs a killer poem.
Her victims have no clue what hits them.


Amazon Appendix

Shake your bedding before retiring
shake your shoes every morning
replenish often your repellant
show reasonable sense about jungle fever

and expect you will have to learn
to deal with it, particularly them
the stinging insects—
of spiny caterpillars beware, beware

a host of small arthropods
a host of minute warnings or suffer
raging complex itches
supernatural pain

fungus joins the chiggers,
fire ants, wasps, mosquitoes
as the hell-hot rainforest rots
your feet are wet



Karla Linn Merrifield recently received the Dr. Sherwin Howard Award for the best poetry published in Weber – The Contemporary West in 2012. A seven-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, she has had 300+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has eight books to her credit, the newest of which chronicles the American West:  Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink). She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye (www.centrifugaleye.com). Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com.

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