Back Patio Press published “Coyote 6” and “Coyote Vanishing” today (May 5). Both are about the mythic Coyote, Trickster figure of the Southwest.
Coyote is also slang for people who guide refugees across the border. “Coyote 6” is also about one of these. The initial Coyote series has 5 poems in it and was written around twenty five years ago. “Coyote 6” was just a placeholder title until I found the real title. With its nod to Motel 6, it stayed.
“Coyote Vanishing” is a nod to a scene in Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather” novel. In it, a governess or nanny is asked by her charges to get rid of the bogeyman in the basement. She takes a fire poker and a sack thru a cocktail party to the stairs. Much banging is heard. She re-emerges with something writhing and groaning in the sack as she drags it out the front door. In response to a question from the cocktail crowd, she says it was a bogeyman. They poo poo it, saying bogeymen don’t exist. She remarks, “It is amazing how much trouble something can get into that people say doesn’t exist.” (I’m doing this from memory, my copy of Hogfather resides in the library which is closed.)