The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Poet Go For a Walk in the Arctic

DAN O'BRIEN

A series of poems, entitled "Arctic Graffiti," about untangled seal guts, elusive hares and Inuit sculptors in the Arctic tundra.

Blood is scattered like what it is, or jewels

around the body of a seal. Belly

-up, frozen whiskers, mostly canine snout.

Its abdomen is open to the wind

like a broken birdcage. Steam rising up.

The Inuit hunter’s untangling guts

like a bunch of udon noodles. Squeezing

the weedy shit onto the ice, slicing

out the beet red organs neatly, flopping

them into a plastic tray on the boot

of his skidoo. They’re good stuff when they’re cooked,

he says. Stomach, heart. My boys just love it

when my wife cooks these! Paul asks for a piece

of liver. Sliding it off the wide blade

of the hunter’s knife, Tastes like sushi! When

I ask him if he misses Iraq and

places like that, he answers, My body’s

been craving raw meat.

This is the first of three poems. Read the second one.

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DAN O'BRIEN

Dan O’Brien is a playwright and poet whose work has appeared in The Moth, Malahat Review, Grain and many other periodicals. He lives in Los Angeles.


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