Thursday, January 18, 2018


By Richard Stevenson

Hola! Me llama Nahuelito
from Nahhuel Haapi Lake.
Not your neck-of-the-woods,
but the folks in Patagonia
and Argentina know me well.

“Patagonian Plesiosaur,” they call me.
Pleased to meet you. Are you good in soup,
or should I strain you raw
right out of my lake, without slurping?
I could as easily spike you up like litter.

Just joshing. Sorry to jostle your noggin
like a bobber. Ain’t no badass lake serpent
or surfacing sixty-foot white sturgeon.
Ain’t no horrid hump or snake with bumps
either, by gum; just Nahuelito, cryptid bandito.

No need to be petrified; if I wanted your hide,
your bones would be a fine midden piled high
in front of my hidden cave by now. Six hundred
feet down the side of this mountain, kid.
So can the castanet teeth chatter, babe.

I’ve got enough fish to chase,
and I ain’t hungry, so relax.
Massage my neck, why doncha?
I got a few kinks need straightening.
Heh heh. Like to project a swany grace… .

A rather large question mark silhouette
on the surface is good for press,
and I ain’t getting any younger, son.
So you’ll excuse me if I take a plunge.
You need to change your pants there, bub.

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Richard Stevenson has recently retired from a thirty-year teaching gig at Lethbridge College and published thirty books in that time, most recently, two collections of haikai poetry: Fruit Wedge Moon (Hidden Brook Press, 2015) and The Heiligen Effect (Ekstasis Editions, 2015). Since retirement, Rock, Scissors, Paper: The Clifford Olson Murders, a long poem sequence, has just been released from Dreaming Big Publications in the US, and A Gaggle of Geese, haikai poems and sequences, has just been released from Alba Publications in the UK.

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