Oxblood ink abstract calligraphy fills the image in curly glyphs. Own work 2023.

Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

by AK Krajewska

I created this poem using cut-up technique, combining bits of my poetry with the poetic excerpt from Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (page F-13). By volume, it has much more of my poetry about wolves and coyotes than warnings about nuclear waste, but a little nuclear waste goes a long way, as we all know. I'm pretty sure that getting cute with the markers to deter inadvertend human intrusion had not yet become trendy when I wrote it in 2018. But maybe I was just part of a craze for appropriating nuclear warnings.

This poem was first published in Rigglewelter #14 on October 2018. Rigglewelter does not appear to be active any more, and you can't see the full issue, but the covers are available for now. It was the first poetry acceptance I got as an adult and I was so happy I spontaneusly burst into tears.

Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant #

The wolf in the clearing clears the space
or worse, deliberate incest-paved path.
Danger is an emanation of energy
and growls and bites. The revelations 
of meditations on the wood substantially disturb this place.

Metal and dripping death.
The palms of the lupines do not grasp or gesture.
The danger unleashed is of a riparian nature.

The danger is in a particular location.
The fear erases the fear,
hot fur, in the dregs of nightmare and the coyotes howl.
The lunula does not shine.
The second coyote walked the next howl
physically. This place is best
that will not shut, that will--
the wolf does not wolf.
In a circle of pines, a circle of lupines of a particular size and shape.

The center of danger is here
at dusk.
The danger is still present and below us.

The morning tangles moonlight in a circle of wolves
in your time, as it was in ours.
I looked hard into the fear of falling:
soporific, needle claws,
and a tether to outer space, red-eyed.
It increases toward the center.
The danger is to the body: the red patch of wolf-mark on the face.

To cast aside words, nothing remains but waiting in the daylight forest.

Injecting taboo desire, needles 
shunned and left uninhabited, HOLLYWOOD sign,
fear of water to the edge.

Waiting, we empty ourselves--
drugged, doped, and rabid
         for death in the clearing --
This place is not a place of honor.
Wait in perfect fear
        the form of the edge of the door
with needle teeth, the intruder
wolf circle to encircle
        at once sleeping
fingernail and finger-flesh
was all chaparral, slavering mouths,
the sound of no sound.

What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us:
palmate meaning their leaves like hands,
soil, blue and lavender,
and part of a system of messages about danger.
Smell, approaching boldly, on the border of a powerful culture
who -- clearings belongs to wolves--
utter another word, Wild lupine. The howl 
is silent, to point. Rabid. They are real piss.

This message is a warning: write about coyotes.
This places is a message:
the pale-yellow sun, the wolf across the Iron Curtain,
a bulldog made of raised scruff, slavering,
reach to wolves, and utter no word.
Hypodermic needles, lupus, lupo, lupine, lunula.
The mind eats the mind. The howl is not in the howling.

We drove through dusk,
                          and it can kill
not-real wolves, the miniature moon,
temptation to never filter the sun.

Expert Judgement,
like a dog after the howl to the lupines,
snuffles in the needle teeth dripping
who whimpers
the pines all night.