KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 468 words

It’s Just Nature Says Some YouTube Commenters

by Dorie LaRue

“It’s just nature,” says some YouTube commenters, 
when hyenas eat a still standing, still fighting 
buffalo starting with the testicles. 
And it is nature again, 
when a male bull elephant in musth 
whacks a baby into the air 
to attract the attention of its mother. 
All you bleeding heart liberal vegans 
can go to hell, they say, which must be nature. 

Some days it seems nature is everywhere. 
Maybe Pearl Harbor was nature, then, 
and Afghanistan, the Gulf War, 
Kennedy’s November. Columbine. 
Maybe lonely drunks are nature or maybe 
buttering up your professor is nature, 
and matched luggage that falls from a balcony 
and kills your cat, and fever charts, 
and pate’s pale painful history, 
and room temperature Chablis, 
decanted too soon, 
a Romaine salad hiding botulism, 
and people who drive in the slow lane, 
and one-week brides 
and their grooms, dead on the turnpike, 
their necks snapped like carrot sticks. 
Maybe wife beaters are nature, 
child beaters, and dogs who 
lie down in fear in cages 
in the laboratory, and the daughter 
in the subway, who jumped on top of her mother 
(after she was pushed onto the tracks by 
a crazy) before the train severed her spine, 
her arms, one white running shoe, 
her life as legal secretary 
with, thankfully, disability. 

Maybe nature was the crazy, 
who couldn’t afford bullets 
but moved from the shadows 
his arms rising like smooth rifles. 
All things considered, 
there seems to be 
no news in nature. Maybe 
we should say, it’s just history, 
biding its time. Children starving 
in Ethiopia could be nature, 
and women executed in Afghanistan 
with loose stones from labyrinths 
we’ll never solve, is nature. 
Doctors, our friendly neighborhood drug dealers, 
with their own original art 
in their deluded waiting rooms 
and trips to Cancun with their third wives, 
and children at Harvard and Yale 
must be nature. 

Maybe in medieval times, 
female nature 
once perverse but 
become holy by chastity was nature, 
and female nature 
once chaste but 
become perverse by holiness, was nature. 

Maybe 1500 years later 
drug addicts 
and their dealers 
must be, just nature. 
I went once to the well 
and drew a dream babe 
from the sweet green waters, 
a little Icarus, oh darling! 
I must not have done 
all the right things 
which was just nature. 
Unknown to me, nature waited, 
gracefully calculating, 
like some marmoreal-veined 
musician, quietly tuning 
his rent-to-own instrument. 

I made a promise 
I’d fill an empty lake 
for you if I had to, 
build an ark from empty kegs, 
steal a wheat field 
in the midst of famine, 
but it was undermined 
by some big shot God 
with his finger on the scale. 
God must be nature then. 
To try to beat nature back 
with a stick, must be nature. 

Dorie LaRue
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is the author of two novels, Resurrecting Virgil (Backwaters Imprint of the University of Nebraska Press) and The Trouble With Student Affairs (Artemis Press); a chapbook of poetry, Seeking the Monsters (New Spirit Press); a full-length collection of poetry, Mad Rains (Kelsay Press); and a forthcoming full-length collection of poetry, An Enemy in Their Mouths (Finishing Line Press). Her fiction and poetry, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of journals including The Southern Review, The Maryland Poetry Review, and The American Poetry Review.

LaRue recently received second place in the West Virginia Writing Awards for 2019, for her book of prose Only Visiting This Planet. She has attended Bread Loaf, and Squaw Valley, and Martha’s Vineyard workshops. She teaches writing and literature at LSU in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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