Monday Poem

God gave names to all the animals,
in the beginning, in the beginning

…………………………—Bob Dylan

Cut to the Chaste

to be called anything,
to be called, Jim, for instance,
is to be tagged for life
unless you choose otherwise
and pull a new name from a hat—
a new you, say, Ed— which would amount
to a tangle of official undoing
as bureaucrats mined reams of documents
to remake an identity with digital white-out
in a shitstorm of confusion to fashion a new you
when it would be more direct,
though sweatingly more difficult
(wrenching perhaps, perhaps impossible)
to turn your heart and head

inside out, scour what’s feckless within,
cramped, sour, stained, into gleaming radiance
as when you slid new into the world
so that a new name would be uncalled for
and need never to be said

—or, cut to the chaste,
start young

Jim Culleny