The Bio of
 Natan B. Witz
Natan B. Witz, M.D, Ph.D, is the author of fifteen books, including Declensions of Rasp (HarperCollins, 2005), A Year of Dysentery (Harvard University Press, 2001), Below the Knees (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) and Fanfare for a Vintage Beater (Alfred A Knopf, 1993). His poems, stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Poetry Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Yale Review and The Paris Review. He has been named a Guggenheim and a MacArthur Fellow. Dr. Witz has been awarded a National Book Critics Circle Award and was winner of the 2006 National Jewish Book Award in the Category of Jewish Thought given by the Jewish Book Council. He is the Alma Mahler Professor of Intracellular Parasitism at The John Hopkins Hospital, President of the Board of Directors of Congregation Beth Ezra and Past President of United Jewish Communities.

The Hegemon of July

All spring I smell them
mangling in the blight,
outlifting me from spit
to stake in my abbatoir,
a scream among the exsanguinations,
a signal pierced from the slaughter,
a rack of flesh skewed
in the thicket of a carotid artery.
Now that the nights are aortas
and the phrenic splayed,
I should have removed the down
pullers in a torpor of blood
slashed to the jugular
before the head hunters.
Make it so. In the collusion
of dawn, as if prostrate to curses  
that soiled the last man,
these phobics appear
through a slit in holy writ,
in the flames of white fire
on black fire and skin welts,
mangling head-off, hybrids
in volumes of sticky bile.
I put myself out of misery,  
the fine vein grit of my skin.  
After all, I am the king,
covenant signer of my
touch who funnels
a herd.  

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