#277: Dog and Bunny Medieval Marginalia



A dog astride a bunny
is jousting to the death
against a bunny astride a snail,
battling while balancing
precariously on a thorned tendril
of a rose bush.
The dog appears joyful
in the face of this encounter,
but both the bunny he is riding
and the bunny he is battling
look surprised, concerned,
on their faces the bunny version of
what the fuck.
It may be for the battling bunny
that he is self-conscious of his ride,
a snail after all, and thrown into
the bargain, a snail with a human head,
bearded and balding, no hyper-
sensitive slug antennae protruding.
And the bunny the dog is riding
can’t even look at the proceedings,
is bottomlessly shamed for participating
in the potential destruction and death
of a fellow compatriot, a brother bunny,
a long-time denizen of the community
rabbit hole. The dog with red shield
goes at it while the blue shielded bunny
has only gravity in his favor.

I’d like to think
that the medieval monks who scribbled
these delirious drawings in the margins
of what might have been manuscripts
of utmost import and gravity, were
thinking about these things, telling themselves
these stories to distract them from the
tedium of copying someone else’s words.
This is not mine, they said, so I will
make it mine, and I will draw things
like this in the margins, the absurd,
the grotesque, even the obscene;
I will be happy or
at least sufficiently entertained,
and my patrons
will be none the wiser.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

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