A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Paul Siegell

is the author of Poemergency Room (Otoliths Books, 2008), the author of the e-chap JΔM> (ungovernable press 2008) and the “parking lot attendant” over at ReVeLeR @ eYeLeVeL.

Paul is a staff editor at Painted Bride Quarterly and has contributed to The American Poetry Review, MiPO, BlazeVOX, Coconut, Shampoo and other fine journals.

Stay tuned/Coming soon: Paul’s next book of poems: jambandbootleg.

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To the Pirates of Mother Rubber, or
How to Cripple a Whitewater Rapids Raft —for CIT-TWO ‘06

PFD life-vests tight, skulls strapped to helmets:
Class IV & V Teen Tour Terrorists, a max-thrill
crew of whippersnapping goofs gone paddle up

with Captain Big John—a creamed coal-eating old
college football fullback, both knees slit, a dry wall
to work after the run: “If you fall outta the boat,

just swim back to Motha Rubba; you’ll be a’ight.”

And with T-grips released, overboard Team Extreme’s
rapid-rocked bodies went, into the then-steady banjo
a-the lower New River, W. Virginier, but arggh, not

from a guttural crunch or screaming hydraulic kick—
This be Captain’s orders, matey, and there’ll be no
mutiny on the Mother. “They’ll think yer going for

smirked the helm, smoke-breaking while his

river ran tranquil. Chunks of fallen mountain along
the shores. Sedimentary settings. Backdrop to a slowly
swam assault. Aim taken: the lollygagging hearties

of Saggy Wagagy. The kind of pillage he always day-
dreamed, 18 years on the New, his parents’ home over-
looking—Ahoy, he’d found his scallywags. And with

a burst like a band of wicked pickers kickin’ in to set

the place ablaze, ahoy indeed, Mother Rubber boarded
its objective, swift with the swashbuckle and plunder—
“Just swim on back to Motha Rubba; you’ll be a’ight!”

Easy pickings. Yoink! Invigorated, the intrepid crew
laid their booty before their Captain, then Big John held
two a-the stolen paddles aloft, crossed them like bones

above his helmet, and called out to all West Virginia.

                                        —Fayetteville, WV, July 13, 2006