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things required for more than one

What spectacular distances I cover while standing still. Just yesterday, for example. A blue bowl on a green table. Oh, and the word is pronounced prostrate unless you have something very different in mind. I have something very different in mind, which I choose not to share. A hint: It begins with surgery and ends in Kansas City. I bet you wish. I wish, too.

By the way, I used to have a pitchfork just like the one you're holding to my throat. And I used to press the middle tine against the victim's Adam's apple. Is that a coincidence or what? You know, seeing as how we have so much in common, we should get together, a coffee date, just to see if we like each other, then dinner and a movie, a walk down the aisle, a couple of kids.

Won't it be funny, ten years from now, when we look back at what we'll laughingly refer to as the pitchfork incident?



The room measured 9' X 11'. The ceiling slanted to accommodate the eaves. I walked around hunched to my knees, a tuck and roll position, to avoid bumping my head. My friends wanted me to move, but I learned to accept my fate. I am simply growing old ahead of schedule, I told them, and they nodded their heads as if they understood.


the fourteen resurrections of a normal life

He thought the television was a window. It made him happy. I like to look out the window, he said when his wife berated him for watching too much TV. I can see the soul within the object, an upshot of black trees against a cobalt sky. This was true. He could see the souls of things and the angles that formed when inanimate objects were filmed by knowledgeable people with expensive cameras. The problem--and there is always a problem--was that he mistook the television for a window, the faux life for the real. Look at the way that bird hovers, flapping its tiny wings, he said to the empty room.

Outside, some kids were torturing a wounded sparrow. He thought he heard a noise inside the wall. The kids ran off. He said, I love that it never gets dark.



At first, it seemed unnatural like a mistake in my person, a thing of which to feel ashamed. After awhile, I understood its value, its meaning. It meant nobody's perfect. It meant a more adventurous type would be looking at the Grand Canyon. I conceded. Took a bath. Water pooled there. I felt a little better. I did not approximate anything near to God.


doubting thomas syndrome

I brought my wounds to the party and introduced them to the other guests. That awkward silence followed. Some of my wounds walked off to the kitchen with some of the guests. A few of my wounds sat on the couch. One of them coughed nervously. I suggested we play a party game. There was a lukewarm response. The conversation in the kitchen grew louder. We decided to play charades. One of my wounds went first. It indicated a movie title. I guessed Gone with the Wind, but I was wrong. Something glass shattered on the kitchen floor. One of the guests had picked a fight with one of my wounds. I ran out to the kitchen to break it up. I was too late. My wound had won.

During the drive home, I said, for the last time, I wouldn't be bringing any wounds with me to any more parties. There was some giggling in the backseat. I mean it, I said to no wound in particular.



Here is one more reason: The life you keep living is the only one. Now do something about it. Tread water as if you were one thing, the ocean a significantly larger other. I'm being difficult. I know more than this. I have ideas. I once followed the instructions perfectly. It still didn't work. But whatever it was gleamed slightly when I tilted it beneath the sun. So what if the neighbors understood how wrong it was? I had glue left and enough money to buy another one. And the substance I peeled from my fingers was snot-like but exotic. I had glue. And all the time in the world.




6 prose poems