Matthew Olzmann, "The Skull of a Mastodon"

Wasn't it a milodon skull that got Bruce Chatwin so jazzed? We're not sure, and In Patagonia isn't handy, but that sounds right. Anyway, if so, then Matthew Olzmann's new poem, live now on our site, makes two data points suggesting that bones of extinct giant creatures are inspiring and then some:

Covered with faint carvings, a skull is wrenched
from the earth. The symbols etched on its crown
are strange to the archaeologist
who bends above it the way a whooping crane
bends above water. The crane looks
into the ripples for mid-afternoon snack.
The archaeologist looks into the skull for meaning.
The carvings could be a poem or eviction notice.
Who knows?

The rest is here, and don't pass up Matthew's other two offerings, equally affecting, though bone-free: "Previous Theories on the Body" and "The Gallery of Pendulums."