Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If I Were A Werewolf

(photo: Lon Chaney, Jr., as The Werewolf, in a hirsute werewolf-suit; photo courtesy Corbis)
That "werewolf" includes the word/verb "were" has interested me for some time, and then I decided to write a poem called "If I Were A Werewolf," but one two-part hurdle I had to get over first is that I kept hearing "If I Were A Werewolf" sung either to the tune of "If I Were A Carpenter" or "If I Were A Rich Man." I shall leave the lyrics to those potential parody-songs to someone else. At any rate, I knew I had to go with free verse instead of anything resembling a ballad.

If I Were A Werewolf

If I were a werewolf, I'd know
where werewolves reside. Most
must hail and howl from
imagination, I imagine, but some
might come from outside Loreville.

Were I a werewolf, how would I behave?
Hirsutely, rudely, carnivoraciously?
I guess so, but maybe less so
than cinema would have it. Perhaps
I'd chiefly want to be alone,

denned up on some steppes, serenading
the loony moon, napping and scratching
like any other mammal. Or maybe
werewolves run in packs like lawyers,
politicians, and beer, in which case

I might have to have a role, a niche,
a boss, a pledge of loyalty, a werewolf
oath or anthem--the usual frightening
stuff that makes the atavistic hair
on the back of the neck stand up.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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