Coyote and the Comet (Hale-Bopp!)

In the west by northwest
sky, the brightest comet
since the colonies of
Plimoth Plantation and Jamestown were
founded spans the slate
horizon with its chalklike
retinue of dust
and ice; what history
befallen on this land
since then will be a lesson
certainly to startle,
but this frozen dirty
snowball, hurtled at
an unassuming student
watching from the vantage point
near the twenty-first
century, will assail
its subject with no piechart
less than that of Einstein's
that is, despite the horror
and the tragedy,
the universe is slapstick.


"Coyote: A traditional figure in Native
American mythology, alternately
responsible for the creation of earth
and for some of the more ignorant
acts after the fact. A trickster whose
bag of tricks contain permutations
of love, hate, weather, chance,
laughter, and tears, e.g., Lucille Ball"
-from Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

Greg Perry

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