Your Daily Horoscope

an excerpt from Nik De Dominic’s Goodbye Wolf

Welcome to [RE:CON]CRETIONS! A new series of excerpts from our forthcoming and recent publications.

Today, OS collaborator Nik De Dominic shares an excerpt from his new book, Goodbye Wolf, available now from The Operating System. Want more? Check out our interview with Nik about his work.

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[Image: The cover of Nik De Dominic’s new book, Goodbye Wolf, available now from The Operating System. Image composed of a woodcut block print of a person with 4 arms and the head of a wolf and a person. Cover design by Elæ.]

You have a moon in your second house,
Stargazer, and he’s a terrible tenant.
Slovenly he doesn’t work, watches
Ellen all day, slightly shimmying when she dances,
sits on the porch in the afternoon and leers
at the neighborhood kids on their Huffies in a way
that makes no one comfortable. Cocaine-fueled parties
every night, broken porcelain toilets and tubs.
The moon was moving through some financial problems
when he signed the lease so out of the kindness
of your heart you forewent deposit.
You don’t even have that recourse.
You’ve called the county but eviction
in Star City is a slow moving process.

We touch back like spark:
current cam current coil current.
Ask if I remember running suicides
in gym and tell me how horses
make their own steam.

You will wake up today with a fifteen-year-old song in your head.
When you shower, you will ceaselessly hum, your mouth full of
toothbrush and pop notes, you will froth toothpaste all over your
pubic hair. Walking the dog, on the bus, in the office, you won’t
shake it. You will doodle lyric on a company pad while making
telemarketing calls to people you imagine in ren-faire biz casual
– billowy skirts, riding boots, and transition lenses that no longer
transition, stuck somewhere between baseball game and bedtime
– so that they can renew their database subscriptions. After a
particularly bad interaction with a CEO’s gatekeeper, you will say:
I’m sorry, Miss Jackson, but I am for real. Thank you for your time,
goodbye.
Later in the bathroom, while urinating, you will look at
your genitals and apologize a million more times.

Several years ago
on the highway between
Alabama and Louisiana

somewhere in Mississippi
I became unable to distinguish
dream from memory from reality

from place from place
from roadside fires and Waffle Houses
from the man-sized pines that litter

the highways of the southeast.
Places I’d never been I’d been before.
Fantastic things happened the night before:

you set fire to the cattle.
The whole field orange in the dark
the headlights of a passing truck.

I sleep too much
if I let myself
most the day away.

Disease makes us
the strangest
strangers.

A West Texas jackrabbit
pinned to the tank
of your Honda 250,

road kill found
and skinned lovingly
in Terlingua, the ghost town, unmarked

on the map and built around
the cinnabar mines.
Dragon’s blood. Wounded monster.

The foot a good luck charm
to ward off bad spirits
and keep traffic moving,

the wind behind you.
A light rain brings the oil up
to the surface

the road grows slick.
Like the mercurialism
of a miner’s death

the bike goes into shakes,
loses its memory, can’t find its place
in the world and you

have to lay her down.
Problem with rabbits’ feet
they aren’t very lucky for rabbits.

About the Author

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[Image: photo of Nik de Dominic.]

Nik De Dominic is an essayist and poet. Work has appeared in Guernica, Los Angeles Review, DIAGRAM, Fairy Tale Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere. De Dominic teaches writing at the University of Southern California where he also co-directs the university’s Prison Education Program. He is the poetry editor of New Orleans Review and lives in Los Angeles.

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The Operating System is a peer-facilitated experiment in the redistribution of creative resources and possibility. Join us!

The Operating System & Liminal Lab

The Operating System is a peer-facilitated experiment in the redistribution of creative resources and possibility. We are committed to gathering resources for citizen action, to transparency, to a unique publishing model, and to continuous evolution. We are based in Brooklyn, NY.

the operating system

Written by

The Operating System is a peer-facilitated experiment in the redistribution of creative resources and possibility. Join us!

The Operating System & Liminal Lab

The Operating System is a peer-facilitated experiment in the redistribution of creative resources and possibility. We are committed to gathering resources for citizen action, to transparency, to a unique publishing model, and to continuous evolution. We are based in Brooklyn, NY.

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