His Language Advanced
    Robert Gibbons
I'm risking my life here, listening to this. He takes photographs. She poses. Apparently her first modeling portfolio is in the offing, for a price, though. For some reason, the first series of head shots they're hovering over on the café table is too dark. Now, there are attempts at negotiation. Only neither one knows how to speak - "You know," (as if the other did) -"like, you know," (since I can't be forthright & ask you to take your clothes off in the next session) - "it's five dollars a roll for color, six to print & though father & his father & his father went to University before..." (his brother chose music, minors in percussion,) "but what's that?" he asks. "I chose photography over engineering. So many in the business. Did you ever look in the Yellow Pages under photographers?"

The ease with which I eavesdrop on their lack of candor, lack of exchange, causes my heart to ache, literally, to the point of having to soothe it, or move away, or write this down hoping for one trenchant comment -he sells, she buys, lies! Now they realize I've heard the whole rigmarole: the $2,000 pitch trimmed to $500, now asking whether there's a phone to make a phony plea to someone - he is tall, just as she is small -they should really call Butch from Gloucester who claimed that at 110 lbs. he crawled into tunnels dug by the Vietcong, to search out & destroy like a dachshund an enemy, which had tactics of its own, including two sticks with a thin wire strung between, dipped for good measure in bullshit, then wrapped in silence around the neck of some young, sleepy, unwary grunt, though by then he'd become a junkie, his language advanced this quick phrase of truth, "Bullshit kills."

Robert Gibbons has current work online in Conspire, The Drunken Boat, Electric Acorn, Linnaean Street, pith, & Slow Trains. He has work forthcoming in Cauldron & Net, Janus Head, Recursive Angel, Tatlin's Tower, & Tragos. A third print chapbook of prose poems, "This Vanishing Architecture," is imminent from Innerer Klang Press, Charlestown, MA.


In Posse: Potentially, might be ...