2 Poems by Clint Margrave |

The Early Death of Men

…there are tremendous reproductive benefits to being a winner and tremendous reproductive penalties for being a loser. –David M. Buss

It is said that the male red deer
grows a large body and antlers
to ensure greater success in mating,
the very same traits that make it
vulnerable to an early death.

Between the ages of 16-28
the human male has a mortality
rate nearly 200 percent higher
than the female, stemming from
his own evolved sexual psychology,
a result of the fierce competition for a mate.

Not unlike the red deer,
the human male who risks the most,
experiences the greatest reproductive outcome,
and is, therefore, most likely to avoid
that lonesome punishment we call




I find it strange
just to have

to walk down the
street with my
hands in them,

or to have
that clutch
a knife
as I butter
my dinner roll.

I find it strange
to occupy space
or drive a car
or blink.

And why doesn’t
science love us?

And how can there
be a god that does?

And what exactly
does it mean
to live in a vacuum?

And why do I
ask so many

And who will
answer them?

Clint Margrave has published poetry and short stories in magazines such as Chiron Review, Heeltap, Spillway, as well as in the anthologies So Luminous the Wildflowers and Incidental Buildings and Accidental Beauty by Tebot Bach Press. In 2004, he released a collection of poems on Doom-Ah Books entitled Come, Armageddon. Currently, he teaches English and Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach, and has just completed his first novel, Negligence. He lives in Long Beach, CA.