Once Upon a Time in the Future
It’s been a lot harder than anyone said to keep the dead pixels from spreading. I’ve seen people come very close to collapsing from the sheer stress of the situation. That’s OK. We can’t all go around loving everything. Language has moved out of the center. I spend more of my time now with my head down, looking at the textures and patterns in the sidewalks. Something can happen while doing that. The subconscious can become apparent, a deranged 800-pound moose crashing through the basement window of a home. We can’t really stop it. There’s no medicine for a nightmare.
To see the fire coming at you from five mile away, like a funeral cortege covered in red bite marks, was proof, if any of us needed it, that it’s not pleasant out there, that, in fact, it’s close to fucking awful, one moment after another teetering on the edge of calamity, and yet the story goes that when Matisse was old and incapacitated, too feeble to get out of bed without help or even comfortably hold a paintbrush, he rubbed charcoal on the end of a stick and made drawings on the ceiling – it had just seemed so empty.
Almost Like a Haiku
I’ll break anything in order to figure out how it works, then look at it afterwards and think, “No, no, no.” That’s what it’s like to be a person in this world. Nine is just a number that follows me around. It doesn’t have to make sense. I’ve ridden a horse whose head explodes. I’ve heard a coyote violate our dog. I’ve ignored the sign that read, almost like a haiku, “STOP Check in with guard.” I try to not answer questions, but I know what flowers are planted in the containers and what giddy colors they’re going to be.
The woods where I like to walk seem darker than usual. When the wind gusts, I half-expect to see our prehistoric ancestors, the tree-dwelling hominids, falling from the branches. The bastards back at my work call me Hansel; the real bastards call me Gretel. I do what I do. I have no fucking idea why. We are, in some ways, patch jobs, always at risk of breaking apart. One of my old teachers had been in a concentration camp. After he was released, he took a boat and went around the world just to see if it was still there.
I looked out your window and saw the same things you had been seeing for half a year, cadaverous men in stove-pipe hats and tarnished frock coats coming out of fog into sunlight. I can’t share with anyone that memory of the acid green and the gray that I now have. They would say, “It’s all a bunch of shit.” At some point, we’re going to have to decide what’s real and what isn’t. I don’t sleep well because I’m so nervous about it. Let’s talk to each other the way that words in a poem talk to each other.