to 5

    on the 5ives




“Every writer is a sell out."
-Gilles Deleuze and Felix Gutarri, Anti-Oedipus

Birds hold concert in trees beside the clay patio as a flutter casts a shadow. Within the oasis of the dreaming just hours ago, dry and crackled brush abounded. Wake up thirsty. Old lover sleep. Old lover ruddy cheeks. Ocean breeze carries fog and particles and overhead a plane sounds like ohm, causing the feline’s head to snap.

Stories amputated from their plots—symphonies unraveled—dismantle the engine. Thrive on nowhere somewhere outside of now. Butcher the past. Butcher it coldly. Flush the beers with a water cup. High bets, steady aim. Sleep like a syringe, a pinch of powder mixed with saline. Jet set to the desolate outback. Strangers visit in the dreaming. Clamber past dunes.

Coal plants along the highway. Humps of dust siphon through the long-necked funnel of a wheeled machine. Highjack the bulldozer, demolish a housefront. Inside a deaf baby cries. Hesse wonders, were a child born stripped of the five senses, would its mind still catch and filter signals?

Lift the shade. Hoist up the window. Put yourself through it again. An open-eyed kiss and an open-eyed nightmare. That old house with hollow planks and filthy couches. Not the card. Use the razor, dear. Stop trying to understand. I will pay. I promise to pay.

Take your time. Do it slow. Legs dangle from the plateau where I have lingered. Chasm like a magnet. Coax out the tension, a stroke and a friction. Thumb the pulse, build and shatter. You can go anywhere on this body you please.

But you can’t take me with you.

Senses ache and yearn in waking and in dreaming breathes a dragon. The Earth’s green surface would combust if not for its flame-licked center. Think of that. We must let new saplings grow from the dust, so as to sway and breathe and stretch in the uncluttered sky. The birds will not tire of their melodies, and the plumes will cling to me briefly before drifting upward, and I will ask myself whether you have forgotten.

Catch on the curve on the brink blotter slaughter-conquer and a seed to the dirt damp like morning, sweat to skin to sheets we abuse to the fists squeezed shut over skin, holding on. Ice in a glass. Flower pot falling. Cat on a leash with the creamsicle fur. Go to the patio. Climb onto slanted roof. You will find me there. You will surely find me there. Breathing currents of air as they thrash along hot shingles, and scribbling my nonsense.






jenna humphrey