Christopher Bakken

Goat Theology
December 16, 2019 Bakken Christopher

Goat Theology
Those who deny everything, yet want,
hear me: always higher, out of sight,
are sweeter branches,
and a steep plot of clover only I know.
Let there be nothing unwelcome to the tongue.
Unbind the tongue from its word and swallow.
To chew without ceasing,
even musk-thistle and thorn,
remembering the mountain’s capricious grass,
gnawing even the root and rind.
To mount a tree’s voluptuous bark
and smear it with beard,
and mark it with funk, then ravage
a whole hillside down to its best ideas.
Not just asphodel and sedge, but rubbish and rot,
the rank ends and inedible beginnings.
Lord Azazel, goad open every throat.
I cast myself out beyond the last fence:
here at the end of all refusal.

Christopher Bakken is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Eternity & Oranges, as well as the culinary memoir Honey, Olives, Octopus. He is director of Writing Workshops in Greece and he teaches at Allegheny College.


photo credit: Konstantinos Papadopoulos