If we can believe the metrics of January’s homeostatic trudge
pasted directly into the hypertext of the inscrutable, algorithmic sky
it’s like being bummed in a general-sort-of-way then noticing
the cute-in-a-rednecky-way guy fingering the drill attachments at Lowe’s.
My high school experiences mostly stoned-under-the-bleachers moments; (Ah,
Youth! part money shot, part alligator death roll) The survey revealed I had
amazing powers of self-actualization despite my crappy work ethic. Sometime
during the Monday-to-Friday survival shuffle, we decide what we need is more
unguents in our life. If I’d known X, I would have moved someplace
forward-thinking and piney, taken a personal day merely to breathe and depilate.
Bee-keeping, circus school, distress flares all along the occupation zone,
all those snow days with the kiddies trolling YouTube for videos of cute cats
riding vacuum cleaners and Sponge Bob dancing to Gangnam Style
remixes, Seriously, if I’d known Y, I would have what? What? What? What?
VARIANTS OF THE SHARK STORY
It would be more visible at night.
It would hate everything, like respectable teenagers everywhere.
It would be more field surgery, less Labradoodle. If a tree,
less maple, more fir.
Itself and not fully itself, like bees in Emily Dickinson.
(Dickinson: confidante, botanist, consumate giver of TMI.)
It would be one giant powerpoint of measure and countermeasure.
It would never say “Anyhoo” or use the phrase, “Slice of life.”
It would curate an amazing reading of chain letters.
It would love less in a docudrama, more in a theme park, kind of way.
In the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story, it would be the part where we were
totally happy, until we weren’t.
SKIN IN THE GAME
The siege, day three, all night swapping places, as in a hostage exchange,
at the bedside of the sleeplesssly-frightened child (unlike in, say,
the war zones, where children have to drink their water filtered through a dirty sock) waking
to the morning’s archival light and the usual headlines of mass shootings and flesh-eating
diseases (Note to the NRA: they’re putting MDMA in the drinking water!) December’s slurred
idiom like the conflation of lie with lay (Primeval Beaver: recent archeological find,
not name of actual nineties prog-rock headliner) the birds yukking it up
on the wire (McDonald’s Express: for all those times you thought to yourself, wow,
I’d love to eat at McDonald’s more, but man, who’s got the time?) Quagmire. Quagmire.
The world of dew being, still, the world of dew (I’m avoiding eternal hellfire
and damnation. Ask me how!) In the wild, the father lion will kill his own cubs
to regain his mate’s waning attentions; (noted Public Figure
on the immigrant population: They live; They shoot) the common goldfish will expand
to fit its own particular container; all along the interstate, the lanes strewn
with dead deer and the broken bodies of trees (Dear Oracle, if a professed Pentecostal-turned-
Anabaptist member of Sovereign Citizens United manages to throw his voice from a gun shop in
Memphis, Tennessee all the way to the West Memphis, Arkansas Home Depot parking lot,
does it make a sound?)