Nothing Contributes So Much to Tranquilize the Mind as a Steady Purpose

Brian D. Morrison

Frankenstein’s creature tried sincerely to be
machine but could be only problem. He wind-
milled his arms tilling dirt, rocks and clumps
flying. Seed from his hands fell perforce.

The creature sliced an ancient septic tank.
A repugnant blob from the gush, he ran,
a nightmare dripping into town. A warning
like any relic sprung to breath and panic,

he was fear become reality. A storm swept in,
lightning snagged his bolts, and his hulk
arms flailed. He was a marionette from hell,
howling, and the townspeople came at him;

clubs and knives, mace and gunfire —
one woman threw a pumpkin at his face.
He took it, all of it, because he was trying to
remove lichen from rock, rage from knowledge

he couldn’t break. And his wheat, his dream,
miles of life, gone because he was now a known,
no longer the silent enigma at the back
stretch of the county where no one dared

plant. A freakish reek in grunts and ragged hitches,
he ran back to his field, fast and so alone.
He buried himself piece by piece between
the rows: An arm here, a leg there, his

heart and head together. Time carries the farm
over him. He sleeps in pieces, hopes for firm
ending of shivers at oddity, the black in the world
that compels a person to break what doesn’t.

Brian D. Morrison completed his MFA at the University of Alabama, where he was an assistant editor at Black Warrior Review. His poetry has appeared at West Branch, The Bitter Oleander, Verse Daily, Copper Nickel, Cave Wall, and other journals. Currently, he works as an Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University.