Two Poems by Julian Mithra

Julian Mithra

Marooned by Organs[1]

hooee               bighorn or prongbuck
i’m fat for backs hunched 
against arctic. Beacham’s off
collecting buffalo pies 
to hold back toothache

pain, a furrow for hide-hunters 
to finger when we run
out of bullets
and spit

hormone circles, panting, free range
through rabbitbrush lungs
and cliffrose kidneys

gait, the kind of country 
broken by ditches and ravines
and cantering
as hard as anything

bloodsoak, intestine, windpipe
between pink flesh, gorges fill 
with patches of ash
from when we burned lust

from rut to rut, grunt and bark 
gunoil-slick crack slurping
dick’s rank growth

inside his skin 
a grange of muscles
tethered to muscles

Taxidermy (for Teddy)[2]

Big boisterous boy

Even Grannie

Any stick would do,

Then he’d flail his

One squawk or peep, a

If it proved

Or subject us to

Father found him a

Mother marveled that he

never found

twice failed

cut off

queer, erratic

fatal mistake

very small

long, tedious

favorable place

so gently

as much joy in the mud.

to forbid him aiming sticks.

and sharpened to a point.

attempts at subduing the prey.

revealing their hiding place.

he would pout.

demonstrations of quartering.

for taxidermy.

placed a marble in each socket.

Julian Mithra hovers between genders and genres, border-mongering and -mongreling. Unearthingly (KERNPUNKT) excavates forgotten spaces. If the Color Is Fugitive (Nomadic) escapes frontier taxonomies. KALEIDOSCOPE (Ethel) flexes against constraints. Read recent work in Arriving at a Shoreline, warm milk, Punt Volat, The Museum of Americana, newsinews, and Storm Cellar.

Check out HFR’s book catalog, publicity list, submission manager, and buy merch from our Spring store. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.


[1] Italicized selections are borrowed from an essay, “The Mule Deer or Rocky-Mountain Blacktail” by Theodore Roosevelt, as reprinted in Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter. New York: Scribner’s (1905)[1893]

[2] The center phrases are excerpted from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Hunting in the Cattle Country” in Hunting in Many Lands, a publication of the Boone and Crockett Club (1895)