Mark Jenkins, 1/4/2010

Current Occupation: Adjunct Instructor
Former Occupation: Building Materials Specialist
Contact Information: Mark Allen Jenkins completed an MFA from Bowling Green State University in 2004 and served as poetry editor for Rougarou. His poetry has appeared in Faultline, REAL, Minnesota Review, Muse & Stone, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere.


Voiding Your Warranty

I can no longer recommend juggling chainsaws.

Switched off, they lack the balance of balls and torches, but not the awe.

For me, it’s their sudden downward obligation to drop.

After too many pulls, each finally start, blowing black, curse-fueled coughs.

Then the heavy toss, motor over blurred chain.

Here on my left thigh is where I missed catching one, a fatal pause,

and why I shouldn’t toss them

even turned off. Why didn’t Husqvarna warn me about such flaws?

This is why I have to return all three chainsaws:

the first’s motor burned up late last night,

the second’s shaft bent like my truck’s tailgate,

the third’s chain snapped on impact with pavement.

I know the strange weight of each, hanging mid-air

will always be too much for the gravity of responsibility.

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